Ranking all of the RWBY Episode 13s

We’re nearly at the end of the journey now. This is the second last episode breakdown and we are now down to only 4 volumes left. Most just don’t make it past the 12 episode cutoff. The next ranking will be for the finales though so all of the volumes will be coming back for one last hurrah. Still even if there aren’t many volumes in this ranking, you know that they’re all top tier!

4. Volume 6

First up is Volume 6. It was a bold move to end with the giant mech fight instead of Adam. I always thought the events probably should have been flipped. Instead the big focus here is on Ruby finally being able to activate her silver eyes at will. For the longest time this was not something that was possible. She could only activate these abilities while enraged and that was about it. Having them as an option is really a huge deal because now there is no grimm that can stop her. The music is good and it’s definitely a very solid episode all around but it does make sense that this would not be stopping the other 3 episodes coming up which amp the stakes up even further.

3. Volume 7

A lot happens in this episode like Ironwood firmly taking on the role of antagonist. Talks have completely broken down at this point and he considers RWBY to be just as dangerous as Salem. At this point he will do whatever he can to stop them. He even shoots Oscar which was a really huge moment because the whole time you just didn’t think that he would do that. It felt like a really drastic move. Still Ironwood is written masterfully here, it’s just the right amount of being an antagonist without taking things too far. It’s why I always give Volume 7 a whole lot of hype because he was such a great character.

Then you have Cinder taking on Winter and Penny which was a really good fight. Naturally Cinder is stronger than both of them because at this point only a maiden can really hope to beat another one. I do think that the old lady gave Cinder way too much trouble though. I had a really hard time buying into that. Cinder should be way stronger at this point, no matter how experienced the other character was. I just don’t see it being enough. We end things off in a big way here that’s for sure.

2. Volume 5

Then we get to Volume 5 which was an absolutely massive episode. The first ever Maiden fight was here and it really lived up to expectations with Raven going up against Cinder. Do I have some power level issues with the fight? Yes, Cinder should have not dealt nearly as much damage as she did because Raven is incredibly experienced with the Maiden abilities and is super strong even without them. Cinder just shouldn’t be in quite the same weight class but either way the fight itself lived up to the hype. Pretty much the whole volume’s worth of budget went into this episode and it was glorious. Definitely the kind of fight that you could watch over and over again. Yang showing up to stop Raven at the end is pretty hype although you feel like the heroine is likely doomed this time around. There’s just only so much that you can do against a maiden like this.

1. Volume 8

Finally we get to Volume 8 with one of the best episodes in the whole franchise. Cinder makes her move and she does so very quickly. She just shows up and immediately starts blasting away at people. I like how she is taking on the whole cast because at this point that is exactly how a maiden should look. Their powers are legendary and awe inspiring so taking on whole groups is not unheard of. The music is top notch here and of course we also have Ironwood breaking out to get his own fight. (Well “breaking out” might be a stretch but he’s free) Leading up to the fight with Winter was pretty big. It’s a classic speed vs power type battle. My money would be on Winter but it’s a good matchup.

I remember when it first came out a lot of people figured it should be a blow out but Ironwood is often underestimated, even by the characters within the show. This also led us to the big rematch with Neo as well which is something that I’d been waiting for for quite a while now. Volume 8 really gave us the payoff to a whole lot and having Yang fall into the abyss was intense. With only one character falling in you could still figure that it’s possible this would be a perma death. The rule for these things is that if anyone else falls in then you know it can’t stick so this was just the right amount of gravity and tension.

Volume 8’s climax really solidified it as one of the best but we’ll see next time how it fairs in the overall finales comparison. There are certainly a whole lot of episodes to go through after all and every volume has a fun final episode to kick things off. This has been a fun series so I will miss it but all things must come to an end at some point. I’ll see you there!

Ranking all of the RWBY Episode 11s

It’s time for the first ranking without Volume 1. It’s a bit odd to see the list only have 8 spots instead of 9 but we’ll see which volume takes this chance to nab the #1 spot. With every volume going all out you can bet that the rankings are going to be quite stacked here.

8. Volume 4

Volume 4 has to bring up the rear again but we have a lot going on here. Each of the main plots gets some screen time as we set the finale up. Blake is finally getting ready to fight against the White Fang and Weiss is leaving Atlas. Yang has also decided where she has to go and Team RWBY is face to face with one of the most powerful Grimm that they have encountered yet. This is one of the last times that there would be a Grimm strong enough to take on the whole team like this so you weren’t likely to forget it any time soon. While this episode ultimately couldn’t quite hold its own against the other volumes, it’s still a strong episode all around. It’s part of why Volume 5 was so much fun since the heroes finally got to all meet up again after being apart for so long.

7. Volume 8

This is a bit of a breather episode compared to the rest that we’ll be getting in the season. Ironwood proves that he is quite serious about blowing up the city and any rationality that he may have had is out the window. He’s now a crazed villain through and through which is unfortunate since he was such a good anti hero but that’s how it goes. Ruby gets her next plan underway and it’s always nice to see Yang supporting her throughout everything that happens. It’s one of the many reasons why Yang is such a great character.

It’s still a bit surreal to see Emerald as one of the heroes now. She has certainly come a long way. It’s also good to see Qrow acting more like his old self as he’s back to being a fighter and a team up with Robyn is a good idea. Robyn is perhaps being a bit too cautious while Qrow is too aggressive so it makes for an interesting combination right there.

6. Volume 2

This was always the standout episode of Volume 2 so it’s almost odd to see it be so low but that’s just how stacked the volumes have been. We get the really iconic Yang vs Neo fight, Weiss vs the Buzzsaw guy, and Blake’s rematch with Torchwick. Throw in Raven’s first true appearance in the series and there’s a lot to love here. The fight choreography is absolutely on point and there are a lot of good tunes to check out here as well.

You also see how much Blake has improved since volume 1 and it’s a good bar to use as we can safely assume that the rest of the team also improved a lot since volume 1. Blake effortlessly crushes Torchwick here when of course she was getting demolished when they first fought. Of course part of that is also due to the elemental dust that Weiss supplied Blake with. So you could say the matchup would have been tougher but Blake still would have won based on what we saw here. Yang and Weiss losing their fights was a nice twist because after you saw Blake win hers you would have assumed that they’d all win. That was handled really well and the ending really establishes a lot of danger for the final episode.

5. Ice Queendom

This was quite possibly Ice Queendom’s best episode in the batch. We finally get to see the team fight as a unit on more than one occasion which was really satisfying. The ost was top tier as you’d expect and they really saved up a lot of the budget for this episode. It was an excellent way to wrap up the arc and we got to see how strong Blake would be with the power of Adam. It all goes by really quickly with nonstop action so I had no issues with the episode. It’s just a lot of fun and I always enjoy team fights like this. I hope to see more and more combos from the team in the future.

4. Volume 3

A bit low for Volume 3 standards but that’s just how strong these other episodes are. We get to continue the villains’ onslaught against the heroes. Every time the heroes get some kind of win (Ruby taking back the skies) the villains take another counter like Adam taking down Yang or the maiden being taken out by Cinder. It all really helps solidify the stakes here because the villains actually have backup plans as well. Usually when the tides start changing for the heroes it stays like that but the villains absolutely refuse to let the heroes get too much momentum. It really makes things very interesting. To date Volume 3 still had the most dire situation for the heroes and it’ll be hard to top that. Part of what makes it so effective was how happy the first two seasons were so when the tone started to shift you almost didn’t believe it. If you didn’t before now, then this would certainly convince you as the body count is rising and characters are receiving permanent injuries.

3. Volume 6

With Adam’s big return it was no surprise that this episode would rank really high. The giant mech fight against Team RWBY is cool as well of course but that would not have been enough to get it a really high score. No what got this one way high up was the big battle with Adam and Blake. Then they even squeezed in the fight between Yang and Adam, at least the first chunk of it. I remember watching this one so many times when it came out. I had been waiting for this rematch for years and it was finally here. The fighting is top tier and the story/dialogue is hype to the max. This is RWBY at its best and the kind of episode you could easily recommend to someone who is on the fence about watching it. There is just so much tension here and it never lets up.

2. Volume 5

For a very long time this was my favorite episode in the history of RWBY. It did mean that my disappointment was much greater the next week due to the budget being cut a bit which led to next week’s fights not being as great as they should have been, but the set up here is perfect. Honestly if they ever wanted to redo this episode and the next one with updated fight scenes I’d be all up for it. Every big hero and villain across the series is showing up for a big battle. All of the rematches from Volume 3 are here and of course Team RWBY (Minus Blake but she’s on the way) is back together. This is what you would have been waiting for! The music is perfect and like in a fighting game every character gets some intro dialogue before their fight.

No expense was spared on the setup and this is the kind of episode that is only possible when you have years to build up the story elements. This is the big payoff and it absolutely delivers on that. So no matter what happens afterwards this will always be an all time episode for me. Weiss’ fight against Vernal is actually really solid too. The music was good and I’m fine with Weiss losing because it makes sense that she would have been out of practice. She wasn’t able to train or fight much at all since Volume 3 because she was locked up in Atlas. It’s almost like somebody picking up a game for the first time in a while and only remembering how to do the super attack. Weiss only trying to summon did look bad but I think writing it off as rust is perfectly valid.

1. Volume 7

At the top is Volume 7 with a really outstanding episode once again. Ironwood’s fight against Watts was great. Not just in choreography and music but the story behind it. Ironwood is a character that the heroes have had doubts on for quite a while and I suspect the same would be true for the viewers. Well here he proves himself. There is nobody watching, nobody to impress but he puts his life on the line and takes this guy down. Ironwood even sacrifices his arm to do it and shows that he has the resolve to do whatever is necessary. Such commitment is always seen as an incredible trait for a hero and a very dangerous one for a villain.

Then we also have the villains making their move to scatter the heroes. Unfortunately Team RWBY made this easy with their deceptions that Ironwood found out about at the wrong time. The episode is so stacked that you almost overlook the Tyrian vs Qrow, Clover, and Robyn fight even though it’s great. That’s how much is going on here and it’s really impressive. The ending is certainly a turning point in the series because Ironwood and Ruby are finally at odds. Ironwood makes his first questionable call but Ruby has no real alternatives. It makes for a battle of wills and at the day it’s a difference that they can’t resolve. They are at two completely different positions and so fighting is the only way out of it. You understand the logic from both sides and how peace won’t win the day this time. Fantastic writing all around.

That concludes the episode 11s. Things are really heating up on every level now that’s for sure. It also means we are inching ever closer to the end of the series. With the next episode a few more volumes will drop out since they only had 12 and that means the future writeups are going to start getting smaller and smaller. Still that just means that the rankings will get even more intense as each volume tries to be the best!

Ranking all of the RWBY Episode 9s

All right we’re nearly in double digits now! As we inch closer to the climax you can see how each volume is setting things up. Of course Volume 3 goes the extra mile and gives us a big fight on top of that but aside from 3 taking the clear victory, the rest are all fighting hard to rank after it. We’ve got a lot of really solid episodes here so lets dive right in!

9. Volume 4

Bringing up the rear we have Volume 4 which does a good job of cycling through the plots. We get to see what each of the 4 main characters are doing. Ren is starting to crumble under the weight of knowing that he may run into a Grimm soon, Yang learns how to fight a little better, Weiss prepares her big escape, and Blake goes up against Illya. What this episode suffers from is the fights being a little slower as was the tempo for most of Volume 4’s fights outside of the Tyrian battles. I also thought Yang fought really well at the tournament thanks to the great choreography everywhere which does lessen the impact of Tai trying to tell her to fight smarter. After all she wasn’t really relying on her semblance back then.

The worst part though is definitely Sun running out of aura immediately against Illya. Even if you ignore that aura has been shown to have no effect on your semblance (Meaning you should be able to just keep using it without worrying about an energy drain) as we can say Sun’s is an exception since it’s light based, it should not run out in a few seconds like that. It felt like they had to write him into a loss but there was no realistic way to do it since Sun is so powerful. So we had a few forced elements in here and ultimately the set up could not beat the other volumes coming up.

8. Volume 6

With Oscar still lost the heroes all head out to find him but it’s rather difficult as the town is so big. A big chunk of the episode focuses on Jaune finally coming to terms with the loss of Pyrrha since up until now he never really got a chance to get over her tragic death. We also meet someone who may have been the ghost of Pyrrha. Many believe this was likely her mother or sister but I like to think it was Pyrrha herself. Worst resolution would be that Jaune was having a delusion since that would be a cop out. We also get a little discussion with Emerald and Mercury that was really handled well. I always liked seeing any cutaway to these two because they really make for very interesting villains.

7. Ice Queendom

In Ice Queendom the heroes are trying to get closer to saving Weiss but seem to hit a dead end at every corner. It’s just not easy to get to her when she has the home field advantage in the dream world. Blake seems to go with a rather gutsy plan at the end though which leads to a great cliffhanger. The overall episode is a bit on the slow side but the final scene is really what pushes this above the other two volumes. It opens up a lot of fun possibilities for where the arc could go from here and I’m at least looking forward to a really big fight!

6. Volume 1

Volume 1 gets us to one of the big turning points in the first volume where everyone finds out that Blake used to be a member of the White Fang. It’s a fairly big revelation and since Weiss is not on good terms with the group it definitely adds a lot of drama into the mix. It makes for a good episode though and as always the humor here is really on point. There isn’t any real action this time around but the episode flows so naturally and is over in the blink of an eye so it just works out anyway. You don’t even need the action when the episode is this fun. I was glad that Blake and Weiss at least tried to talk things out a bit before it all fell through.

5. Volume 2

In this episode the mission finally begins for real as Team RWBY embarks on their first true adventure. It’s pretty nice to see the group out in the field like this. Zwei is fun as always and having each member of the group give their reason for why they wanted to become a huntress was important. It’s information that you really wanted to know even if they had a hard time expressing this. This episode is certainly set up for the fights that are to come but it’s executed very well which puts it in the top 5 for this list. It also still has a solid blend of humor from the volume 1 days.

4. Volume 5

Volume 5 continues strongly here as most of the episode is a big chess match between Cinder and Raven. Both are basically threatening each other while trying to style this as a negotiation. Raven’s already in a bad mood since Cinder blew up her forces right at the jump and Cinder just wants to get this over with. Raven did especially good here with her thinking up an extra plan on the spot. I always like to see her using some strategic thinking and it’s clear why she is leader of the bandits. The Blake subplot with Sun and Ghira fighting off the White Fang isn’t as epic yet but I did really enjoy the cliffhanger as Blake prepares to fight off Illya. That’s a fight we’ve been waiting a while for after all so now it’s time for Blake to take her down once and for all. The hype was at an all time high with this episode for the Volume 5 climax.

3. Volume 7

Things continue to get worse for Ironwood as he finds out that Jacques let Watts into the system and now Salem is super close to finding out about the amity project. The heroes finally decide to tell him about Salem being immortal as well and then he finds out that Robyn knows about the secret plan so someone spilled the beans. It’s really a never ending barrage of bad news for him which is all hitting at once. Still, he decides to listen to Oscar’s advice and is trying to keep a clear head on his shoulders. Right now you can see how he’s still being very calm about all of this.

One of the reasons why I liked Volume 7 so much was because they really nailed his character. Ironwood is someone who may take more drastic steps than Team RWBY but he is trying to save the day. They just won’t always agree with his methods which is how it goes when you have no good options left in a bad situation. In Volume 8 I would say they fumbled his character quite a bit but right now he’s looking very good. With the villains really closing in on the heroes you were definitely hyped to see what would end up happening next.

2. Volume 8

Volume 8 continues to move very strongly as well with another really powerful episode. The army is launching their big offensive against Salem outside while Yang and her squad head in to free Oscar. This leads to our first true fight against Salem in person. We get to see Hazel take her on with a flurry of blows and even Yang lands a combo. Ultimately her regeneration is a little too good to go down against them but this is the kind of fight we have been waiting 8 years for. So finally seeing her in action is just hard to beat. Right now I don’t think we’ve seen enough to justify Ozpin not having the Maidens attack her earlier or even going in with Qrow since she hardly seems invincible to that extent but we’ll have to see how it plays out. The stakes are really high here and it felt like the beginning of the final battle. The series almost could have ended here depending on what the heroes would decide to do.

1. Volume 3

Finally we have Volume 3 and it’s not surprising to see it here. We get the final big fight of the tournament which was splendid between Pyrrha and Penny. Additionally we then cut to Cinder unveiling her master plan which was built up for the last 3 seasons. Adam shows up as well as a ton of Grimm. Just about every big villain is here and the heroes are in the worst spot possible. Things had never been this dire before so it was a true turning point of the series. This would really begin the turn to a more plot driven series and it would never go back to being more episodic after this. There was no turning back and it was all executed to perfection. The soundtrack is amazing and Mercury’s quick fight with Ruby was also on point. There’s really nothing to dislike here as it’s one of the best episodes in the RWBY series. It really changed the game.

So that’s how the episode 9s shake out for each of the volumes. Definitely a lot going on here and the next list is going to be the final one to have every volume until I do a separate finale episode to kick things off because Volume 1 caps out at 10 episodes. The uneven lengths of the seasons means that these lists are going to start getting a little shorter but either way there is still a lot to discuss. Plus as each season gets closer to the last episode you can bet that things are really going to tighten up among the volumes. Even Volume 3 won’t necessarily be able to stay in the top spot for each episode coming up.

Ranking all of the RWBY Episode 7s

All right we’ve made it to the Episode 7s of the series. This time the rankings get mixed up quite a bit with some really high ranking volumes taking a lower spot than usual and Volume 3 gets dethroned this time. I figured it had to happen eventually since Volume 3 may be my favorite volume but it’s still hard to see how it can win every episode like that. I’m really looking forward to compiling the rankings later on to see how each volume really stands up. Well, lets dive in as most of the volumes begin to prepare their climaxes.

9. Ice Queendom

It’s Ice Queendom’s first time at the bottom. Mainly this episode allowed Jaune to see into the dream but because of that we’re seeing a lot of things that we already know. The Mini Weisses were fun though and then they even got to turn giant. The cliffhanger is definitely the best part though and that nearly bumped it up a spot but the volume right above this one also had a powerful cliffhanger like that. It’s nice to have Jaune in the mix but I look forward to the volume throwing in some more action in the next episodes.

8. Volume 5

This is one of those Volume 5 episodes that got the volume infamous for how long the heroes just sit on the couch and talk about things. They become more reactive to the plot rather than being proactive. Still, I suppose some of these things are topics that the heroes needed to discuss at some point. I don’t think the outrage over characters being turned into birds was really a big deal but Ruby should have asked about her silver eyes by this point. The heroes would go on to make a lot of tactical blunders by not using this time to the max. The cliffhanger was really epic though with the villains showing up to attack Raven and her clan. Weekly there weren’t a whole lot of moments that could try and top this. We had been waiting for a big Volume 5 fight and this seemed like it was about to deliver.

7. Volume 2

The dance is underway here and the first half is fairly emotional as Jaune finally stops chasing after Weiss and goes to Pyrrha instead. This ended two rather large plots from volume 1 so that’s over now. Meanwhile Cinder begins her infiltration plan which would have a big effect in volume 3 and her fight with Ruby was fun. Ruby is lucky that they were interrupted though because at this point in time she would have absolutely no chance at victory. The gap in power would just be way too much. Good way to end the episode and I always like throwing in some action at the end.

6. Volume 1

There may not be a lot of action in this one but it’s a fun episode with a lot of the retro humor from the old days of RWBY. My only gripe is with how none of the heroes step in to help Velvet at all. Given that part of the episode is the professor talking about how the Faunus are treated badly and face discrimination outside, you’d think that the heroes would prevent this from happening in school. Particularly Blake…cmon now. I do think the whole scene would play out very differently if it was newer since we know Velvet actually can fight and I don’t see her teammates being kept in the dark for long. Once they find out that would be game over for Cardin.

It’s a rough episode for Jaune though as he gets bullied a whole lot. The main issue here is that he’s super weak and knows it but also wants to have enough pride not to ask for help. It’s not a very compatible set of ideals there because then the only option left is to remain weak. We never see him training either and this leads to him getting blackmailed. You feel bad for the guy but this is very much a hole that he dug for himself which is the worst part of it all.

5. Volume 8

Volume 8 has had a lot going on so this is a bit more of a slower episode for the heroes to catch their breath. Team RWBY is berated by one of the Happy Huntresses who comes across as being extremely annoying and out of touch here. She complains that the heroes aren’t doing enough but they’ve done way more than her. At this point the team is starting to split at the seams a bit so the last thing they need is someone on the outside trying to lecture them. Meanwhile Oscar is still being beat up but seems to get through to Hazel a bit. I’m a bit iffy on Mercury letting himself be kicked around by Tyrian the whole time though. I guess Tyrian is stronger but Mercury should go down with a fight. I am looking forward to seeing his role in volume 9 though. As always with Volume 8 the overall atmosphere and intensity keeps things going at a high level even when there are no main fights.

4. Volume 7

This episode sees the team slowly start to keep more and more secrets from Ironwood. Yang and Blake decide to defy orders and tell Robyn all about his plans which was not a great idea. Sure in hindsight it may be okay but they really just took a huge risk in disclosing this all to a character they didn’t personally know all that well. Robyn seems like a nice enough person but you’re going to just trust someone like this who just lost an election and is probably not in the best frame of mind? Later on this would not help matters with trust but the quick fight was good. The constant tension between all of the characters keeps this really high up. I still say Volume 7 easily had the best plot out of all the sagas because you can see how Salem is slowly taking away every good option and increasing the pressure on the heroes. So eventually no matter what option is chosen, the heroes would be split apart about it.

3. Volume 6

We have made it to the Grimm Reaper episode. It’s actually relatively short as far as the modern RWBY episodes go but because of that the whole thing is a big fight from her old days as a huntress. I really liked everything about the fight from the choreography to the individual fighting styles and semblances. The villain with the crooked teeth really made for an imposing character and her semblance preventing damage for 60 seconds is really useful to have. It’s probably one of the best flashback stories in the series with maybe just Cinder’s coming really close or surpassing it.

2. Volume 3

Volume 3 just barely missed out on the top spot this time! We get to see how Cinder formed her group with Emerald, Adam, and Mercury. It’s a really solid episode and I also greatly enjoyed the fight with Amber, the maiden. She put up a great fight and while you know that she has to lose, you still want to see how it goes down. She was very close to winning and that’s impressive considering who she was going up against. Having a whole episode dedicated to the past like this is a bold move but it’s one that works out really well and sets you up for the climax that is going to happen. Cinder’s plan has been going on for quite a while after all so we’re about to see the payoff. It’s just a very effective way to show this off and I also liked that Adam didn’t go along with the plan at first since it wasn’t a great idea for the Faunus.

1. Volume 4

Volume 4 is nearly near the bottom so it’s nice to have it at the top. Unfortunately the volume peaks early so nothing else will rank quite as high as this one. We got the full Tyrian vs Qrow fight here which to date is still one of the best fights in the series. The new song used was excellent and the fight choreography was like something out of Volume 3. It was a high stakes fight with two professionals and we really hadn’t seen anything like that before. This was the first real time and the battle definitely lived up to that.

So those are all of the Episode 7s here! It was a really solid batch and we saw some good shakeups here. We’re getting closer and closer to the big climaxes for each of the seasons so I’m looking forward to covering those. It would have been nice if I finished this and then Volume 9 was ready but sadly it’ll probably be a while until that one comes out. In the meantime at least I’m keeping my RWBY knowledge very fresh.

Ranking all of the RWBY Episode 6s

We’re back with another RWBY episode comparison! Episode 6 would be around the mid season finale for some of these seasons so you’re expecting big things and the volumes don’t disappoint. Interestingly the list is probably the most jumbled yet. Volume 4 finally gets a slot near the top as we get the first big battle against a cabal member and of course Volume 8 continues to hold strong with Cinder. Volume 7 is probably the one that’s surprisingly low considering where it had been ranking prior to this episode. Well lets dive in!

9. Volume 7

This episode is about giving the heroes a day off to watch the election so it is aiming to be more of a low key episode in that respect. Nora and Ren continue to have their drama here as Ren has been shutting down throughout this volume and this has all been too much for him. It is true that Nora’s distraction allowed Tyrian to get in and mess the place up but Ren’s a little too weak to do much about it so either way they would have been absolutely crushed here. The ending is tense but for the most part this is an episode that seems to be buying time so it’s not one of the biggest ones. I also think that with an election this big people would have been watching the polls the whole time so the hacking should have seemed obvious.

8. Volume 2

As with Volume 7, Volume 2 has a party for this episode. The heroes finally get to relax a bit before their next big fight. Blake initially doesn’t want to attend the party because she’s got things to do but Yang basically forces her hand on this one. We get to learn a bit more about Yang and why she is always trying to find leads on Raven and we also see one of the first silhouettes of Qrow. The cliffhanger gets you excited for the next episode but at the end of the day this was more of a romance drama episode so it wasn’t going to be much higher than this. It would also mark one of the last times that Neptune would be relevant in the whole franchise so his fans should try to enjoy this episode.

7. Volume 6

This one plays out like a horror film as the heroes are stuck in a village where they are slowly losing the will to fight. They can barely even move after a while and the new Grimm seem to be inspired by the ReDeads from Legend of Zelda. When they yell you really aren’t able to do much of anything against them. You just freeze in your tracks but this leads to Ruby finally learning how to use her silver eyes. I still blame Ozpin for not teaching her about this sooner since it can quite literally turn the tides of the war against the Grimm. Imagine going to Ironwood and being able to say you have someone who can glance at the Grimm and cause them to instantly evaporate? Would be a real game changer. My only gripe here is that I feel like Weiss should have had no trouble with the door and that even in a weakened state beating the Grimm should have been easy. I didn’t think the tension was really quite earned to the degree they were trying for.

6. Volume 1

Weiss continues to doubt Ruby’s leadership in this episode and it really comes to a boil after Ruby shows Weiss up during the Grimm battle by giving Weiss all the advice for a victory. It’s a little petty on Weiss’ part and she is called out by the teacher. By the end of the episode she learns to finally accept Ruby and so this made for a rather short character arc. She had seemed to finally get behind Ruby in the forest but I suppose that was under duress so it didn’t really count. Either way the battle with the Grimm was fun and the show’s humor is still on point. I liked seeing Ruby doodle and the characters getting the room ready. There’s just that hyper energy that you don’t see after the first volumes.

5. Ice Queendom

Episode 6 has our big group fight against Weiss as even Yang gets involved. Interestingly part of the scuffle actually seemed to transform into CGI which was interesting but it was brief. The episode got to show off it’s animation a little more than the last one as Weiss spammed her energy attacks and the heroes had to deal with it. I’m a little skeptical about the main trip not being able to stop her though. It was shown that Weiss upgraded Yang and Blake’s weapons subconsciously so I like to think that they could defeat her. Just knock her out and then take out the Grimm. That would be the most direct way to solve all of this. It’s been fun seeing more into Weiss’ mind and that’s definitely been one of the most engaging parts of the show.

4. Volume 5

Volume 5 is mainly a solid conversation with Yang and Raven. After all these years it’s great to finally see Raven as the focus here and she makes a lot of good point about why Ozpin cannot be trusted. Of course Raven shouldn’t be trusted too much either but she’s rather open about that and says not to trust anyone. It’s good advice even if the characters may feel a bit iffy taking it from her. While this isn’t exactly an action heavy episode, it’s fairly up there because the story is really interesting here. These are plot elements we’ve wanted to know for quite a long time now. I like that Yang doesn’t back off and the music is really tense. In the B plot with Qrow trying to find huntsmen, you can see how things are dire as there appears to be nobody left. Salem has done her work well.

3. Volume 4

This may be the highest that Volume 4 has been all season and it’s no surprise that this one would do good as Tyrian shows up here for the cliffhanger at the end. It’s nice to see what an evil pro fighter can do. Up until this point we haven’t really gotten to see any of Salem’s Cabal fight all that seriously. Yes we had Cinder and her two minions fighting but that’s about it. The fact that Tyrian is able to take down Ruby’s squad in an instant is impressive.

If it was Team RWBY then I don’t think it would have been quite so easy though but ultimately they would probably lose that one. It’s a really hype way to increase the stakes here and Volume 4 needed a spark so this did the trick. In the subplot we had the Weiss party and as always Ironwood was a good voice of reason here. He wasn’t about to arrest Weiss or do anything like that because he was probably annoyed at how fake the people of Atlas were being as well. I liked the early foreshadowing about Mantle needing some help as well since that wouldn’t become a big issue until Volume 7.

2. Volume 8

After all these years we finally got to see Cinder’s backstory and it really works out well. She put up with quite a lot until the experiences all broke her. If the local Huntsman had handled things a little better then perhaps she wouldn’t have ended up turning out evil but in the end that just wasn’t in the cards. The new track for Cinder was really impressive and this was definitely enough to get the episode really high. Beyond that we also got setup in the present as Salem is sending Cinder back into the fight and Mercury is also finally turning against her. That’s something Cinder needs to watch out for since she is no longer the most powerful fighter around. We also have Team Jaune getting ready to go and infiltrate Salem’s ship which is sure to be a really intense plot.

1. Volume 3

I don’t think it’ll surprise anyone that Volume 3 is at the top here. It’s been doing really well so far and this was no exception. The first half of the episode is a little slow as Ozpin and the team give Pyrrha a lesson on the fairy tales but then we get over to the Mercury vs Yang fight which is where things really get intense. To date this is still one of the most impressive fights in the whole series. The choreography is amazing and there’s just so much great action to enjoy here. The ending is also intense and really marked the change in tone for the series. From here the volume would only get more and more desperate for the heroes and would continue to remind us why Volume 3 is the best out there. So if no Volume could dethrone it before, we’ll see if they can coming up but of course there is a lot of great competition coming up.

So that wraps up the episode 6s here. It’s been a run ride through memory lane and it’s also just a lot of fun to see how the animation has been changing throughout each volume. You can pretty clearly tell what volume any given scene is from of course it also helps that they tend to change their outfits a lot or the scenes are memorable enough where you remember the background.

Ranking all of the RWBY Episode 5s

We’re getting closer and closer to the midway point of the seasons now! By this point you expect that some good action is probably happening or if not that things are getting close to that point. Will that be enough to shake things up or are we looking at something similar to the episode 4s? Well now it’s time to find out so lets dive in and see how it all shakes up.

9. Volume 4

I liked the synergy with volumes 4 and 5 as they both deal with the Blake plot and naturally continue into each other. This time Blake finally arrives on the island but her father seems to be doing business with the White Fang which is a red flag. Of course they claim that the White Fang is actually not evil and Adam just has a splinter group but of course that’s not very convincing. The episode ending confirms that everyone is working for Adam although we already knew that. Without any real big subplot to add to this the episode naturally doesn’t rank as highly as it could.

8. Volume 5

Volume 5 mainly focuses on Blake and Sun as they try to recruit more Faunus to their cause. It isn’t easy though and it’s easy to see why as joining in would be dangerous and throw you into a fight that you fee isn’t your problem. They would have to leave the safe island to go out and fight to protect someone else which isn’t the most appealing prospect for the masses. Adam also gives his orders here and unfortunately I don’t think that was handled well. He’s panicking on a pre recorded video he sent to his underlings so why not do a reshoot since he lost control here? Unfortunately this would be the beginning of the end for Adam and I definitely was not ready for it. Seeing Adam was cool to further the plot but otherwise this was a very low key episode and the conversation with Blake and Sun wasn’t the most engaging. I can’t say I’ve ever experienced Blake’s tendency to use a word to represent each person. As for the subplot with Oscar, I thought he was a bit unreasonable in yelling at Ruby and panicking. She’s got enough on her mind as it is so he needs to calm down.

7. Volume 7

In Volume 7 we’re focused on trying to get the parts over to Amity Arena so that the world can be told about Salem. It’s a bit ironic that in episode 5 of the very next volume the heroes would succeed only Ironwood has been thrown out of the equation now. This was Robin’s first big appearance and it’s a solid debut. This would ultimately lead to more of a disappointing conclusion for her character but regardless this is how you make an entrance. If Penny wasn’t there then I think Robin would have actually tried to fight. Sure, her team would have gotten absolutely rocked but that fight would have been nice to see.

You can also sympathize with her because from her eyes this does look like more government corruption. Why would Mantle resources be going somewhere else when her district absolutely needs it for survival? Not the best look for Atlas but things are often looking rather shady on their end. Definitely more of a calm episode all things considered though. We do get to see Team neon for the first time in a while though and having them fight Jaune and pals was cool. At this point they wouldn’t stand a chance against the main team so putting them up against these guys was a good play. It’s a fun training battle and we don’t often get to see the heroes training a bunch here so all of those scenes in Atlas were fun. The ending is also a solid stinger as Salem gets ever closer to the heroes.

6. Ice Queendom

Ice Queendom comes back with another big episode as we get to see Weiss square off with Blake this time around. Ruby’s first mission didn’t go great so she brought Blake and Yang this time around but Yang was stuck on decoy duty for a while so it’s more about Ruby and Blake running around. I do like that Yang is a bit more no nonsense about the whole thing and doesn’t mind taking shots at Weiss here. That’s just her personality and it’s good to see her stay bold, it’s the Yang we’re used to after all. While the fight isn’t quite as good as the last one, the episode has a good mix of action and plot main for another solid episode in the saga. The dream world is certainly difficult to conquer.

5. Volume 2

In Volume 2 we get to see a lot of good Pyrrha action which was good to see. Surprisingly Team Cardin is actually rather strong as they give her a good fight. Yes she beats them 4-1 so it’s a bit relative I suppose but their attacks looked good and they had a lot of teamwork. At the end of the day it’s good that Cardin isn’t a bully anymore because clearly he could still defeat Jaune if he wanted too. Meanwhile we also got to see Mercury fight a bit even if he only got serious for a second as part of the master plan. It was a good setup episode and throwing in some big fight scenes really helped to make the episode stand out. It was a really solid adventure for volume 2 and it’s always great to see how gracefully Pyrrha fights. It’s no wonder that she is considered to be s top prodigy.

4. Volume 8

Volume 8 brings us our next big Maiden fight which is always exciting. The heroes finally have Amity Arena up and are ready to give their big speech but Cinder shows up with Neo and Emerald to put a bit of a damper on that. I have to say that I’m still a little skeptical of the grim reaper being able to not only hold off Neo but actually overpower her here. In her prime maybe, but now that she is an old lady? Yeah I don’t see that happening. I suppose it’s nice for her fans but it stretches disbelief just a little too much. It’s my only real issue with the episode though. Volume 8 continues to keep things operating on a high level and the plot is also very interesting. So while the fight is a nice bonus, the non action parts also hold up really well. Definitely another great episode to the collection. (How did Watts actually manage to steal that phone without being noticed though?)

3. Volume 1

This episode finally brought in the famous Nevermore fight. To date it would not be a stretch to say that it’s probably the most well known fight in the series. It was the first time that the team all worked together and was really when the show started to show off what it could do in the action department. Yes the trailers had great action but the show itself hadn’t had too many action scenes yet. The fights hold up really well and we also got to see how all of the characters interacted here. This would ultimately be the launching point for the characters to become better and better. If the competition wasn’t so steep this could have even made a strong case for the top spot here. The song that plays during the fight is also absolutely top notch.

2. Volume 6

Volume 6 gave us the big Neo return here so you can bet that the episode is rather high up. I’d been waiting for this for an extremely long time and the episode did not disappoint. Seeing Neo hold her own against Cinder until the maiden abilities were activated was perfect. I always felt that in pure ability Neo had to be one of the best and her illusions are just hard to beat. They may be different from Emerald’s ability but are close enough to cause a lot of damage.

This led to the introduction of a new song that was great as well. In the other plot we had Ruby and friends go inside the abandoned village and the whole thing plays out a bit like a horror film. It’s all ominous with the snow everywhere and people dying mysteriously. The characters even seem to be getting weaker to its effects. While I think it’s a little less convincing with a bunch of professional fighters like Team RWBY to get nervous, it was a good way to build stakes. This time there’s not an enemy to fight (yet) but still a lot of danger in the air.

1. Volume 3

Volume 3 continues the tournament strong as Yang and Weiss team up against Neon. It’s rare to get tag team battle so I was excited to see this one. The choreography is absolutely on point as you would expect and the soundtrack for the fight is really good. It’s an excellent usage of the tournament since you get to see some new characters and abilities while building off of Yang and Weiss’s dynamic. They don’t really do many combos here but they were picked because they are the strongest. So seeing them have to struggle here and try to make a comeback is very effective. It shows just how strong people on the outside can be.

The most impressive thing for me was when Flynt ended up surviving the explosion that took out Weiss. Yang having to go through a 2 vs 1 was really intense and that built up a lot of drama. I was really impressed with the fight and it’s definitely one of the big ones to remember. Meanwhile we also got to see Penny’s team stomp the competition which should come as no surprise. She really is quite powerful. Not sure how strong her teammate is as we don’t see much of her but I can’t say my first impression as a character was great. She seems a bit rude for no reason.

Well that’s a wrap on all of the episode 5s. We had a solid amount of combat episodes here and some good setup ones as well. We’re now seal enough into the series where you certainly expect a lot of action to be settling in or if not, that the plot is well underway and a lot is going on. This will only become more and more apparent as every volume has an intense climax. I’m definitely ready to see how they all stack up!

Ranking all of the RWBY Episode 4s

We are back for another round of the RWBY episode rankings! You probably won’t be surprised at how well Volume 3 does but the question is if any of the other volumes can keep up. Will they get absolutely destroyed or will they have a fighting chance here? With a series as good as RWBY it’s always fun to see which episodes can really surpass the others in these battles. You can tell how about half of these episodes are more about setup though, but there are the action ones as well. It shows how balanced the series is as the action changes from volume to volume.

9. Volume 4

Volume 4 has to come in at the tail end here which is rough for the volume but this is more of a low key episode. We see Yang finally come to terms with not having her other arm anymore and it was nice to see the teachers off duty. I always like Yang as the really confident heroine so it was nice to see her get back in the groove. Meanwhile Raven and Qrow’s meetup was hype. We hadn’t known Raven too well by this point so any appearance was really appreciated. A lot of setup for future events occurred here.

8. Volume 7

Finally seeing the heroes become fully official huntsmen was great. It’s been a long time coming after all and it was nice of Ironwood to have kept this in mind with everything going on. That said, I still think the heroes act a bit too in awe of the Ace Ops here. Cmon they may be reasonably tough but RWBY and friends have dealt with much more powerful fighters. We see here that the Ace Ops don’t even see each other as friends so naturally that was going to hurt them down the road. The episode is really more on the calm side but seeing the heroes finally get some real recognition was great. They’ve saved the day on many occasions after all.

7. Volume 6

The cliffhanger for this episode is really what gets it a bit higher up. We have the heroes making their way to an abandoned village which has clearly seen better days. It’s a nice ominous way to end things off but otherwise this episode doesn’t have a whole lot happening. Everyone’s really upset at Ozpin for the fact that he kept more secrets and has no real plan. That’s probably the worst part of it because then he has been stringing them all along for ages without any big strategy. You’d think he would have thought of something over the years but I guess he just never got around to it. It’s a really bad look if you ask me. I was never a big fan of Ozpin but if I was then this would probably hurt even more.

6. Volume 5

Volume 5 will always be the most nostalgic volume for me even if it isn’t my favorite one. That’s because it was coming out right as I first got into the show and so I kept watching the episodes over and over. It may be a dialogue heavy volume but it handled itself in much more interesting ways than Volume 4 so it stayed fresh. We do get a quick Yang fight in this episode though. While the speed of the fight is a bit on the slow side, the choreography is still on point and that’s what counts. It’s also nice to see more of Raven and we’re gearing up for the big conversation there. I also liked that Weiss was able to break free on her own and didn’t really need to be saved. Of course if Yang was not there then she would have been doomed though.

5. Volume 1

Volume 1 has some more fun gags with Ruby and Weiss having their differences. I do wonder where Ruby popped out from though, has she just been beating up on a bunch of Grimm off screen? Admittedly it probably is her fault about the trees burning down since she should have seen Weiss while zipping around. It also is embarrassing to be having so much trouble with normal grimm when individually they should be able to defeat them all with ease. We also get to catch up with the other teams like Jaune and Pyrrha so it was nice to see them. The episode has a good blend of story and action while covering a lot in a small amount of time.

4. Ice Queendom

Now we’re entering the anime only original story and it works quite well here. We get a whole new environment and get to learn about Weiss’ psyche. It’s an effective way of showing her true thoughts the whole time without having to make it appear too forced or anything like that. It’s the right way to go about it. The visuals still look really good and actually getting a Ruby vs Weiss fight is something we’ve been waiting for throughout the franchise. The battle theme is also on point even if it seems like the show always uses the same ones. The lyrical moments are on point though and this show just continues to operate at a very high level. I’m eager to see how this plays out for the rest of the show.

3. Volume 8

Volume 8 continues to go strong in this episode. We get a really tense chase scene where Yang and company are trying to save Oscar. Unfortunately there are just too many Grimm in the way and they can’t keep up. They tried hard though. Ren is annoying in this episode though as the guy blows up on Yang and does a lot of complaining the whole time but it’s all undeserved. He’s the one not handling things well and trying to push that off to everyone else. It’s not the right approach to the situation and he’s hurting the team unity. That’s playing right into Salem’s hands. This would begin his downfall as Ren never really recovers throughout the volume. Well perhaps his downfall began in volume 7 but I remember thinking this was a particularly bad moment for him. The actual episode is just too hype to have any lower though and the song during the chase was on point.

2. Volume 2

This was the first time we really got to see Team RWBY fight..well as a team. They used advanced combination moves and really overwhelmed Torchwick throughout the fight. It was nice to see the combos and as always I liked seeing Blake and Sun team up here. I miss when Blake was the very rebellious one who was always leading the charge like this. She is really at her best here and Sun has always got her back which is great. Neo’s debut appearance was also exciting and seeing the bar from Yang’s trailer was a nice callback. It reminds you why you definitely don’t want to be skipping those trailers. The lyrical song that played during the fight in the episode was also masterful.

1. Volume 3

I have to admit that I was not surprised to see this one at the top because Volume 3 is full of stunning fights. This one had us finally see Mercury and Emerald get their first action scene. Considering that these villains have been around for quite a while, it’s something that has been a long time coming. What better way to show off their skills than to beat some of the most experienced students in the whole school? They won so easily too that it really made a statement too. To this day I’ve watched the fight many times over. The trash talk is also excellent.

That wraps up another comparison list for the RWBY episodes. Some more shake ups here but at the same time Volume 3 is still dominating so things haven’t fully changed yet. That volume was just so epic though, it really set the tone and pace for the series going forward. A lot of fun moments here though and it’s always nice to revisit the series. Will Episode 5 start to turn the tables? Well we’ll definitely find out soon! That said, the best comparisons will probably be once we hit the climax because every volume always ends with a bang with no exceptions. Measuring which climaxes were the best will be the exciting part.

Ranking all of the RWBY Episode 2s

It’s time to rank all of the episode 2s! The episodes in general are shorter than the premieres so there is less opportunity for quite as much plot development and action but at the same time that means we can really judge how the series tries to follow up the big premiere. Do they go small scale and try for character development or blow it all up and go as big and bombastic as possible? IN general I’d say the series goes for the former and that definitely makes sense. It’s rare that you do back to back battle episodes like that.

9. Volume 4

It’s been a rough start for Volume 4 as it has to come in at the end here. Mainly that’s because not a whole lot happens in this episode. We get a lot of info-dump as we learn a bit more about Atlas and Ruby’s team visits a village that was destroyed by bandits. Not the most exciting episode 2 but it’s not irregular. It was nice to see Whitley being supportive to Weiss though. Low key he never seemed like a bad guy throughout the show and he went through a whole lot while she was gone. Everyone ditched him but he still warned her about Ironwood’s arrival and genuinely seemed to care so that was nice. I think he tends to get a bad rap. It’s also nice to see the seeds about Ironwood getting a little aggressive start here.

8. Volume 6

In this episode the gang catch Ozpin lying to them again as usual and so we get quite a few heated arguments here. It eventually even leads to the genie finally appearing and the cliffhanger lets us know that we’re about to learn the truth about Salem’s past. So it’s a very important episode but the main reason it’s low is because it’s all set up for more exposition. Build up for a fight can be pretty hype but build up for knowledge is less so since you wish they could just fit it all into one episode. Ozpin is always annoying with his secrets as well since you’d think he could trust them more at this point. He also just made a big mistake with Lionheart so you feel like he should probably own up to that a little more.

Instead he goes on the defensive side right away and it looks suspiciously like he was going to attack Ruby at the end. So all in all it is a very important episode to be sure and a very interesting one at that but without any real action it couldn’t quite keep up with the others. The Cinder subplot was very intense though and since the opening was already hinting at the fight with Neo coming up, that’s definitely something that everyone was looking forward too.

7. Volume 1

The original volume’s a bit low this time around but that’s because it’s more of a build up episode. Aside from being super short, we don’t even get to the first challenge yet. The episode is mainly about the main characters finally meeting up a bit. It’s got a lot of nice humor like Ruby and Weiss meeting up or Yang dashing off with her friends. Since Weiss would eventually mellow out, it’s always nice to see her during her mean phase where she and Ruby didn’t get along at all. The banter between them is always a lot of fun. The show has a lot of spirit at all times and it was a fun appearance for Jaune as well. He cements himself as the big comic relief character right away here and can’t keep up with the others. Little did anyone realize that he would eventually become one of the big characters.

6. Volume 2

Like Volume 1, Volume 2 has a lot of that classic humor that I enjoyed. If it’s one thing that RWBY hasn’t captured nearly as much since the old days, it’s that fun humor that it always had. The heroes playing that Yugioh homage game was a blast. They got the trap cards and everything. There aren’t any big fights this time around and it’s a short episode so it’s not going to rank too high but it’s still a pleasant watch. We also have Cinder and the gang infiltrating the school at the end which is a big deal.

We even get a brief Ironwood appearance where he tries to talk with Ozpin but that conversation doesn’t really go anywhere so he leaves. It feels like nobody really wants to have an actual conversation with him which is rough since it does seem like he is trying hard at this point in time. It was also nice to have the team get Blake to open up to them instead of flying solo again. Flying solo is always fun but since the rest of the group is ready to help out, there isn’t really a need for that.

5. Volume 8

This was a fairly somber episode as the heroes are still trying to pick up the pieces in Mantle. The hero groups are also split up since they have different approaches to things. While it’s mainly a low key episode, we do have a very intense climax with the new hybrid Grimm coming out. There were a lot of fun theories about this possibly being Summer or another old character back in the day because of how it could talk and strategize. It was a great way to end the episode even if I think that Yang and friends looked a little too weak now. I have a hard time believing that they would have so much trouble against a single Grimm, even if he does have intelligence. The fight did boost this episode above a few of the other episode 2’s.

4. Volume 7

In Volume 7 we finally got to go inside of Atlas and actually talk to Ironwood. This is definitely a very dialogue based episode but it was a super important one with the major players finally getting to decide what to do about Salem. As interesting as it is, it can also be a frustrating one though with the heroes lying to Ironwood at literally every turn. By this point there is no reason to think he would make the wrong move and moreover, I don’t think he would have gone down the wrong path. Ironwood’s big plan here is to let the world know about Salem and the heroes are absolutely appalled. (In volume 8 they end up going with his plan anyway)

This is before Ironwood went off the deep end and I was supporting him every step of the way right now. Look, Ozpin’s plan of keeping everything a secret just didn’t work and he ended up just putting everyone in danger. In just about every other series, letting the world know the truth is the good option and even here it would be in the next volume. If Ruby and friends had sat down with Ironwood and told him the truth of all that they learned then they all could have finally started to do something. They could have come up with a plan and I believe they also could have figured out a way to help Mantle as well. They just didn’t help Ironwood at all and ultimately that would come back to bite them.

3. Ice Queendom

Once again the quick pacing really helped this one jump up near the top. You could feel the budget already dropping from episode 1, however they quickly increased it again for the climax which I appreciated. The fight with the Nevermore was a lot of fun and it’s always nostalgic to see the group in the old days. The episode speeds through several from volume 1 and makes for a really satisfying watch. It still feels like a best hits montage but of course we’re getting closer to the original story so then we can see how that stacks up. Will Ice Queendom still be one of the best or will this be where it falters?

2. Volume 5

Volume 5 is rather high this time eh? Well, we get a good mix of plot and action this time around. Weiss got to fight the hornet queen which was a lot of fun with that epic song playing in the background. Things may not have gone well for pilot boi but he did good while he was around. We also got the really epic subplot with Adam finally taking control of the White Fang. This would be one of his last really hype moments before the series started to drop the ball with him. This was a great example of his strategic awareness and making everyone his pawns. Even Hazel from Salem’s cabal wasn’t able to keep him in check. His speed was also really good since Sienna Khna wasn’t able to stop him.

It was a natural progression for Adam’s character and a big part in why this episode was so good. He really made a name for himself here and I was super eager to see how things would play out. The cliffhanger was also massive with Raven finally appearing for the first time. That’s something everyone had been eagerly awaiting for a very long time and the appearance lived up to the hype.

1. Volume 3

Volume 3 is on top again eh? Well, it’s not too surprising as this is the tournament volume though so you can expect a whole lot of action. We get two tournament fights in this one with Jaune’s team first and then Sun’s team. The fights themselves are on the weaker side of Volume 3 and aren’t even taken as seriously but it’s still fun to see the characters fight. The team that fought Sun’s group even got to appear quite a bit in the novels so it was interesting to see them here even if they still feel like NPC’s. The fight choreography of the old volumes is always just so good! The new volumes eventually did manage to catch up but for the most part the other volumes don’t have big fights in volume 2. That should slowly start to change though and then I think you’re going to see more of a shake up in the rankings.

So that’s all of the episode 2s. We’ll see how the episode 3s go. As always it’s nice to see how the animation style and tone changes throughout the volumes. You can also try to see common elements or strategies in the episode 2s for each volume but as of now I wouldn’t say there’s much of a pattern. It makes sense since each volume is all so different and so it’s not like you can always call episode 2 the setup episode or anything like that. Some will jump straight into the fights while others go for a more emotional feel.

Ranking all of the Black Clover openings

It’s time to rank all of the Black Clover openings. I recently made it up to the final ending from the Toonami broadcasts and it was quite excellent. It made me think, could this be the best opening? From there I figured if I was going to check out the rest of them anyway that I might as well make a quick editorial/rankings out of it. Typically it can be very tough for an ongoing show to keep churning out consistently great openings. You’re bound to hit a snag at some point or some shows just start keeping the same song for a while but Clover was always good about changing it a lot. Some of these openings I totally forgot about while others are as clear as they’ve ever been.

The only franchises that I would say have been able to maintain a similar level of quality for so long would be the Railleratordex franchise (Railgun, Index, and Accelerator) and Sword Art Online but they would be firmly fighting for second place. Black Clover has 1st in the bag. So without further adieu, lets take a look at the 13 openings from worst to best. I’m ranking them based both on the music as well as the animation contained in them. For any openings that may have more than one version, I’m using version 1 as a reference. Click here for a link to all of the openings in case you want to check them out for yourselves

13. Opening 11

So my least favorite opening is 11. It’s certainly more of a happy opening compared to the others as an arc just finished so the characters are finally getting to relax a bit. The main reason why it loses to the others is that there isn’t a whole lot going on. It’s calm which is nice and all but I would have still liked to have seen some more quality animation here. It just felt more like an opening that was thrown together without any style to it.

12. Opening 12

Next up is 12 so I suppose you can say the ending started to weaken for the series. Following up on 11, we’re still in an era of peace so the opening is more about the characters working out and just having fun. I’ve never been a big fan of that as the action for the openings. Give me some extra fights or something. I do like that part of the music has a very Kingdom Hearts feeling that appears now and again. It’s not quite enough to put this one higher though.

11. Opening 7

I really liked the opening animation here showing the contrast with Asta and Yuno. Both of them have come a long way by this point and still see each other as rivals in the center ring. It’s a great start but the opening starts to lose steam as we get a lot of stills after that. On the flip side, the music really turns up in the second half so this one just didn’t find the right balance to go higher.

10. Opening 5

This opening’s going for full sad vibes. The characters are all dealing with a lot at this point and the music reflects that. It all pairs up well and that helps this opening join the top 10. It’s still not quite energized enough to go higher up but it does serve as a nice change of pace from some of the other openings.

9. Opening 9

Cool that the 9th opening is in 9th place right? This one feels a lot different from the others with how much of a focus the elves get. This almost feels like a story opening as it takes place with Asta and Yuno beginning their counter attack after showing the Elves off. It’s a pretty high quality opening and my favorite part is definitely near the end with the fire fights for the Fuego siblings and Noelle. It was a very strong opening to be sure.

8. Opening 8

This opening really shows how differently the past was for Asta and Yuno compared to the Elves. They didn’t have a care in the world while things were not going quite so well on the rest of the planet. The climax has some big fights as well. What gives it the edge over 9 really comes down to the song. The images are fairly close but this one did have the Asta and Yuno fight and the music just had more energy.

7. Opening 3

It’s really great seeing all of the Black Bulls hanging out and then fighting together. The song itself is also one of the strongest ones from all 13. While the images may not have quite as much weight as some of the ones coming up, this was a good example of how to do a more laidback opening for several sections while still keeping up the tempo and a lot of energy.

6. Opening 6

They went all out with the animation here as we see the various tournament battles. The music works perfectly here and it’s why this opening is so high. It’s got really strong fundamentals with the opening tunes and starts out incredibly strong. The art style effects at the beginning are also pretty unique. Not something you want to see long term but it works for short bursts.

5. Opening 4

This may have the best intro animation to an opening aside from 13. The first shots look amazing and the music has a solid intro. Sadly it seems like they spent the animation budget on the opening so the majority of this one is all stills. It’s why despite having such an amazing song, I have to bump it down a few slots. It’s an opening that’s more fun to listen too than to watch.

4. Opening 1

This one’s an excellent mix of happy and sad moments. You get a nice sense of adventure here but with things not going very well for the heroes on multiple fronts. It’s a very classic opening though and one I’ve heard many times. The song is very strong and I like the dynamic with Asta and Yuno in the opening moments. Age has not held this one back at all.

3. Opening 10

As I mentioned I’m looking at the first version of the opening for ones that have multiple. Version 2 of opening 10 actually looks very happy which shows what a quick background change can do. The original version is incredibly sad and somber though. The opening did a great job of showing how tough things were getting on the heroes. The music follows along with slow beats before speeding up. It works exceptionally well and is definitely one of the best openings.

2. Opening 2

This was the first opening to really go all in with the action scenes. It had a lot more intensity than the first opening. It loses the more somber elements for the most part and focuses on the heroes claiming victory and decimating their opponents. I was really close to putting this one in the number 1 spot but ultimately it has a slower intro than the 1st place intro which never misses a beat.

1. Opening 13

What can I say, the series ended on an absolute high note with this opening. The beginning is a perfect homage to the first one. It’s cool to see how far Asta has come over the years. The music has a very consistent beat and the animation has never looked better. The shots with the Dark Triad are great and the animation even seems to have a bit of a different style with Zenon vs Yuno that worked very well. Yeah this opening could not be defeated and I’ve already heard it dozens of times at this point.

So those are the rankings for Black Clover. Once we get a sequel anime it’ll be fun to hear how those openings turn out. There are several videos that merge all of the openings on Youtube so just put that on loop for a while and you’re set. I probably won’t be doing another opening list for a while but I’ve definitely got a bunch of completely different editorial ideas I’ll throw around here and there. So I’ll see you on the next one!

7 traits that make for a bad villain

I’ve written editorials on what makes for a good hero and what makes for a good villain. Now we’re going to look at what are traits you want your villains to avoid. These can turn you into a bad villain. Now there are really two kinds of villains. Ones who are meant to be taken seriously like Lex Luthor or Frieza and then there are the fun ones like Dr. Cortex or Drakken. The criteria for these villains can be quite different. In this editorial I’m mainly talking about serious villains to consider that in mind as I bring up the following points. Characters are quite layered so just because you may have some of these traits does not mean you are automatically a bad villain. However you do want to typically avoid these.

1. “I want to marry the princess!”

This is a huge one. In general what I’m talking about here is a villain’s motive. It can’t be something so superficial like this. Villains like Jafar from Aladdin or Claude from The Hunchback of Notre Dame come to mind. When a villain’s motive is like this it immediately makes it hard to take them seriously or even find them likable. I’m focusing more on the negative aspect of the motive here as I’ve already spoken at length about what a good motive is on the last editorial. Your motive just can’t be so petty/shallow. Another variation of this would be something like just being super evil for no reason. You can just be evil like wanting to destroy the world or something. That’s pretty legit but if you’re just torturing heroes and stabbing guys for no reason then it comes across as unnecessarily edgy.

2. The villain’s insane for a purpose that isn’t compelling

Insanity in small doses or even large doses can make for interesting villains. Look at Joker, he’s a pretty iconic villain who is insane in all the right ways. His rants actually have a purpose to them and while he is crazy, he still has general goals that you can find pretty interesting like tearing down society to prove that anyone can crack at any time. Now, he’s been through so many writers that this can vary but for the most part it’s good. Then you have a villain like Toga who is insane but not in a cool way. Her fascination with Deku is definitely quite out there and she doesn’t seem to quite understand why it’s so odd. Her origin story shows that she has been like this for a very long time. So to be most accurate, it’s not that being insane is automatically a negative trait but it tends to backfire so you want to be careful about it. Being insanely after another character like this is not the motivation you want for your villain.

3. The villain acts very subserviently to another

This is a big no no. You absolutely can’t grovel to another villain or constantly ask for forgiveness. This is a really easy way to make yourself a joke when it comes to big time villains. Whether you’re the big boss or a henchman you have to conduct yourself with a certain amount of class and decorum. You can’t go around being scared of the others. In some cases a villain might even allow himself to get beaten up by the others. Leo Lionheart is an example of a villain who is constantly pandering to his bosses. He spends his entire screen time being absolutely terrified of Salem and her crew. there’s no way to find a villain like this particularly likable. He’s just not made of the right stuff and this kind of groveling and terror is an immediate turnoff. Should have at least made a break for it.

4. The villain has a grotesque design

Now design is something that’s important for any character so this is a bit of an easy one. Particularly for villains sometimes you want to have a villain who is super deformed or grotesque to add to the fear factor but it’s not a good idea. For one thing, having that many scars means that people have been beating you up for ages or if it’s just too crazy then it’s going to be hard to look at the villain as it is. Freddy Krueger is the perfect example of this. It’s a grotesque design for sure and hurts his chances of being likable. I mean, he’s got a ton going in the wrong way for him so he was never close as it is but this does not help his case in the slightest. Mojo is a character who had more potential. At the very least he has a lot of fun lines and the guy can fight pretty well. It is hard to get past his design and mannerisms at times though. If they tone that down a bit he could become one of the all time greats.

5. The villain is fairly mindless

A villain needs to have an amazing design to make this work. Otherwise if you’re a mindless villain it’s going to really be hard to be likable at all. When you’re just a giant villain who can’t talk or act then are you even a character or just an obstacle? That’s the question you have to ask for someone like the Impure King from Blue Exorcist. It’s hard to find him likable or even that interesting. He just stands around as the heroes slash away at him until he is burned into nothing. He had a great intro but didn’t do anything with it. You can’t have a villain like this or at least you should try to avoid it. The same goes for villains who are usually smart but suddenly turn into a power type and lose all of their intelligence, it’s just not a good idea.

6. The villain throws a lot of pity parties

Whenever a villain starts to try and blame everyone for the mess he’s caused then this really won’t work out well. One big example of this is Reiner from Attack on Titan. Bear in mind that Reiner is directly responsible for murdering countless people during the Titan attacks. He tries to justify this many different ways and one of which is by trying to say that he didn’t even have a choice. He has a crazy speech against Eren to which Eren points out that the whole thing is ludicrous. It was a pretty hype scene but didn’t do anything for Reiner. His character starts to go downhill fast from this point. You absolutely cannot have the villain feeling bad for himself. It’s not going to end well. Villains need confidence and conviction to go through with their plans. Now, Reiner was caught up in a tough situation and he made a choice. It’s better to make a choice than not to do anything but then he’s got to live with it and can’t garner any sympathy from anyone.

7. The villain suddenly decides he doesn’t want to go through with the plan

This is a classic for minions or even big bosses They’ll do all kinds of evil things throughout a series but then suddenly they have second thoughts about the whole thing. “Maybe we’re going too far” or something like that when they’ve been totally on board the whole time. It always seems rather sudden and just out of character. You can also just call it chickening out. It’s different from having an honor code where you have some things that you’ll just never do. Backing out of a plan where you fully knew what it entailed is something else entirely. In this case with Emma from Godzilla, it’s just that she didn’t think things through. It’s almost worse when you think about it because she was so confident in her plan initially. Just listen to her plan. It made no sense and the start and it doesn’t make any sense now.

So these are my top 7 traits to avoid. Naturally there are others like just making sure your villain isn’t a creep like Nobuyuki from Sword Art Online but if you avoid these 7 traits you’re definitely in a really good position to go places. Naturally for there to be great villains you’re bound to run into run of the mill villains or even downright bad ones. It’s just the way things work but the more good villains the better right? It’s always interesting dissecting what makes a character interesting or unlikable like this. I’d say it’s more fun writing about the best ones though but you gotta see both sides of the coin. That means the final editorial in this series will be about what makes for a bad Hero but that’s not til December. In November the monthly editorial will be a simpler one about how I score media. What does a 7/10 mean to me and how do you achieve that? Look forward to that editorial next month!