It’s time for Neo to return to the center stage. She won’t be able to claim victory here though. Neo’s fighting style revolves around a lot of quick parries and getting the opponent tired. Those tactics won’t work on someone like Grimmjow who has massive amounts of stamina and power. He’s simply not going to get weaker as the fighting goes on which is really bad news for Neo. It means that she is really out of her depth in this battle. Grimmjow wins.
It’s time for Neo to return to the center stage. She won’t be able to claim victory here though. Neo’s fighting style revolves around a lot of quick parries and getting the opponent tired. Those tactics won’t work on someone like Grimmjow who has massive amounts of stamina and power. He’s simply not going to get weaker as the fighting goes on which is really bad news for Neo. It means that she is really out of her depth in this battle. Grimmjow wins.
Senku is a really good scientist, but that doesn’t mean that he’s ready for a fight at this level. Neo is incredibly powerful to the point where she was able to easily defeat Yang in a fight. Senku can’t think his way out of an impossible fight like this and Neo will be controlling the match from start to finish. Senku’s only logical choice here is to surrender because that’s 1 billion % his only chance to win. Neo wins.
It’s always a sad day when a RWBY volume ends. It’s a pretty long wait til the next one but at least in the meantime we can keep watching this one over and over again. The volume had a bit of a slow start in terms of action so initially I was a bit concerned but the final few episodes made for a really epic climax. This ended up being one of the best volumes yet. The fight scenes have improved again to the point where they are finally back up to around volume 3 level.
This volume starts off with team RWBY finally making it into Atlas. It’s been a long journey for the team but now they can talk to Ironwood about stopping Salem. He has been quite busy since volume 4 and has amassed an impressive army to combat her including the AceOps, a group of powerful fighters who are known as the best of the best. The heroes train and get some upgrades while in Atlas, even meeting up with a rebuilt Penny. The peace doesn’t last for long though as Salem sends Watts and Tyrian over to create some general chaos in Atlas. Meanwhile Cinder and Neo are after the maiden and the artifact. If the heroes aren’t careful they may lose everything. Do they retreat or hold their ground? Ironwood, Robyn, and Mr. Schnee all have their own ideas on what to do next.
A lot happens here even if the experience will feel pretty short due to how much fun it is. I believe this was one of the longest seasons to date and Rooster Teeth has done a good job of getting the episodes to pretty consistent run times. I’d like to eventually see every episode be around 25 minutes, but one step at a time. There’s so much that the volume does right so it’s almost hard to know where to start. First, one big positive here is that the story moves along quite a bit. We get through a solid chunk of the Atlas arc here to the point where the next volume should end it. We get to wrap up Weiss’ plot as well as get to the heart of Ironwood’s character arc. The pacing is solid.
The animation is definitely top notch. As I mentioned earlier, these are the best that the fights have looked in quite a while. It’s not like RWBY ever got bad at that though. Volume 4 did have the Team vs Tyrian fight which is still one of the best fights in the series and Volume 5 of course had the big Raven vs Cinder match. Volume 6 had the Grim Reaper battle as well as the climax with Adam. I’d say that the main difference is that in volumes 4 and 5 it felt like the team only had time for one big fight so the rest of the fight scenes suffered a bit. Volume 6 got past that and then Volume 7 is really thriving. We’re back to fun team combos and good background effects that amp up the battle.s
Ironwood’s battle is a good example of this with gravity playing an effect in the confrontation. It really adds an extra dynamic to the whole thing. Then Team RWBY’s fight was excellent. While most of it isn’t a pure 4 vs 4 fight, you’ve still got a lot of people moving at the same time which is something the series was infamously unable to do in the Volume 5 climax. (I’d still like to see the team re-make that fight someday) It’s a good benchmark to see how the series has really grown since then.
Then we’ve also got an excellent soundtrack which should come as no surprise since the series always has great tunes. We get the excellent Hero theme that plays during Ironwood’s fight. I’ve listened to that one a very large number of times at this point. The song that plays during the RWBY fight was also really solid. Those are the 2 best themes for me, but the credits villain theme is also solid as well as the intro. I look forward to seeing the full soundtrack for this volume coming out so we can hear the full versions of these songs.
Now we’re going to enter the more detailed part of the review so these parts will have spoilers. If you need to know the score now then know that it is a perfect 10. RWBY never delivers anything short of perfection. RWBY is definitely still the best show out there and it’s also part of why I have to discuss it in such detail. I can’t leave a stone unturned and I’m always browsing the reddit to see what everyone else thinks of the big events. It’s a title where there will always be a good amount of discussion.
The first big topic for debate here is Ironwood’s decision of course. Ironwood himself is a pretty complex character. He’s been doing his best to fight Salem since Volume 3, but things never turn out so well for him. In Volume 3 things don’t go well because Ozpin stays tight lipped about everything and doesn’t let Ironwood in quick enough. By Volume 6 2 of the 4 Kingdoms have already been defeated (Haven is still around, but without a headmaster or a relic it can’t do much to help) and so Atlas seems like it may be the next target. Given this, Ironwood has been building up his army. He has everyone fully mobalized and even got the AceOps ready for action. He’s done a tremendous job of getting everyone in tip top shape. The army may still need a little work since team RWBY got in so easily but it’s still pretty solid as a whole.
Unfortunately intruders are still getting into Atlas and Salem threatens to make an appearance as well. There is no time for Ironwood to achieve his goal of getting the communication tower up in time and the heroes could barely fend off the first wave of Grimm so the whole army would dominate them. Ironwood then makes the controversial decision to jettison Atlas into space to avoid the Grimm and in theory Salem won’t be able to chase him there. At the very least it’ll take some time for her to get up there so he can smoke out the intruders and think up a plan. Team RWBY disagrees which leads to their big fight with the AceOps.
Ruby does have the moral high ground here since abandoning a whole half of the country to die is not heroic no matter how you slice it. On a practical level Ironwood is right that they’ll all die down there given how powerful the Grimm are. It’s a matter of do you let everyone die or half of them? It’s not the heroic move, but Ironwood’s decision is the most rational. I think a good compromise team RWBY could have gone for would be to quickly gather everyone who wasn’t already evacuated into Atlas. They already got some of them over, just not everyone. This would also seal the deal for the rest of the survivors though so in effect helping Ironwood would also go against RWBY’s goals here. It’s easy to see why this would lead to a fight.
I hope the series keeps Ironwood as an anti-hero who is doing what he can, but finds himself on the wrong moral side each time rather than becoming a full villain. He’s getting dangerously close to that with how he shot Oscar. The line he used for that was pretty awesome though and one of the best lines in RWBY. This volume helped Ironwood rise up from just another character to being in my top 5 now. I may need to make a new top 10 RWBY characters editorial soon since it’s been shaken up so much. At the moment my top 10 would be 1. Adam 2. Ironwood 3. Cinder 4. Yang 5. Raven 6. Neo 7. Torchwick 8.Weiss 9.Mercury 10. Ruby but it’s definitely a list that tends to change quite a bit. Ironwood’s just made for a great character and now that he is officially becoming a third party to contend with it makes him that much more interesting. I really hope he doesn’t die in the next volume although it’s looking likely. Realistically he won’t be defeating Salem or Cinder but hopefully he can bump off at least one more side villain like Mercury or Hazel.
The whole Atlas debate was a pretty big part of the volume. Meanwhile we had the Atlas election which was the setup for all of this. The Weiss family drama was less interesting, but still a necessary part in all of this since we had been waiting so long for some closure. I’m still not a big fan of Weiss’ Mom. At least Whitley is a little interesting with where his character may go. There are a lot of options for him for sure. Then Weiss’ father gets his end. He had a pretty good run and he’s a fun guy to have around. I’d have liked him to manipulate the others a little more instead of getting manipulated but I suppose that’s how it goes some times.
Winter is a character who hadn’t appeared in a long while so it was good to see her return. She’s still a little too fixated on following the law though to the point where she isn’t choosing to step up and help Weiss. For characters like her I always like to see them ultimately betray the law to help their family out. Those who do not end up suffering a big fall and it’s hard to rise back up as a character. Byakuya from Bleach pulled it off so Winter could as well, but this was not her best volume. I’m fine with her getting wrecked by Cinder since I don’t consider them to be in the same league, but I’d have liked her to have been more supportive of Weiss. I do like to think that maybe she would have helped if Weiss was actually brought in although I have my doubts.
Penny’s return was another controversial part of the volume. Especially since it was confirmed that she wouldn’t be coming back several years ago after her death. Plans change so you should never put too much stock into interviews and such outside of the show though. In-universe she is a robot so it makes sense that she could come back. Personally I would have rathered she did not. In general not bringing a character back is the right move, but it can all work out if the character has great scenes. Take Cinder for example. I’m glad she was brought back since she has had several great fights since then. At the time I’d have preferred she stayed dead, but what’s done is done. So going forward in volume 8 it’s not like I’ll still be dwelling on it. She’s here so now I’m looking forward to her getting some big fights. She’s going to be a real powerhouse now so hopefully Ironwood is unable to take control of her or the heroes are going to be in some major trouble.
Watts gets his first big role of the series and looks pretty good. His battle with Ironwood is handled really well and they both got a good amount of hype there. Watts’ motivations may be weaker than some of the other villains, but it’s still one you can understand. He feels like he should have gotten the headmaster position at Haven. I think he would have done a way better job than Lionheart, but I’m sure Ironwood had his reasons for doing that. It’s still no excuse for being evil. I’m surprised that Ironwood let him live, but Watts could end up being pretty useful going forward.
Then we have the AceOps who all become pretty big characters by the end. Clover gets the biggest role for sure. He’s a solid commander who seems to be going for a bit of a Captain America vibe. Unfortunately he makes one of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen as he decides to prioritize going after Qrow instead of Tyrian. Qrow even points out that this is crazy but Clover won’t listen to reason and gets murdered over that decision. It was hard to feel bad for him there because the entire thing was completely his fault. Qrow did his best to go after Tyrian, but Clover made that impossible.
The rest of the AceOps come across as more reasonable. While they are trying to take out Team RWBY, it’s because they see their orders as being the right ones. Harriet is the main fighter of the group and she has the right idea of going all out from the start. Marrow mentions that he doesn’t want to destroy the heroes, but ironically Weiss tries to slice off their heads at the exact point he says that. Team RWBY isn’t holding back so they can’t either. Besides, you aren’t able to destroy someone if they still have Aura unless your attack is that much stronger like Adam’s famous slash which took off Yang’s arm. Either way holding back will only get you injured. Harriet was determined and even after being tied up gave Ruby a good fight.
Marrow comes across as the most reasonable of the members. He doesn’t fall for Robyn’s mind games which was impressive since everyone always falls for that. His power to stop time of either one person at a time or everyone in his line of sight is a really good ability. He’s nigh unstoppable in a 1 on 1 fight but Weiss ended up being a bad match up for him. Elm and Vine get the smallest roles of the group. Vine is the most emotionless of the group and doesn’t find any of this personal. He’s just following orders and doing what he’s got to do in order to claim victory here. Elm takes this very personally as she is quite eager and willing to put team RWBY down for good.
One thing I greatly appreciated here was the fact that Team RWBY beat AceOps fair and square. I was worried that the fight would get broken up or they would get saved, but fortunately that does not happen. RWBY just shuts them down systematically and it was quite satisfying. I also liked Ruby’s confidence there as she doesn’t always show that lately. Flat out telling AceOps that RWBY is more talented was really great. This is the kind of development I like to see from her as team leader.
Meanwhile we had one more big new character in the form of Robyn. Unfortunately I was really not impressed with her. For starters her fighting abilities are really just now impressive. She has a crossbow as her weapon which is a questionable choice at best because there just isn’t anything you can really do with that. All of the characters fighting at this level can move fast enough to catch or dodge any such arrows. It leaves her with no real room to grow. She goes down quite quickly in each match. I was hoping she would have been more of a serious third party character to worry about, but in the end Ironwood ended up taking that role so there was nothing really left for her to do. A shame of course, but I suppose it couldn’t be helped. I hope she is able to make a comeback in the next volume. She talks really tough every time so that makes me think there is still hope for her to make a comeback if she can just get a little stronger.
I can’t say that I really have any formal negatives with the volume. Even the weakest aspects of RWBY are quite solid. If there’s a plot we could remove, I wouldn’t mind losing the Ren and Nora one. Their romance hasn’t really worked since day 1 and they were better off as close friends. It is also quite telling that the instant Nora distracted Ren was when the villains attacked so he was unable to help out. It ended up costing quite a few lives. Maybe the show will use that to end this sub plot. Ren’s also been panicking a lot so if one member of the team gets bumped off I could see it being him. Team Jaune in general spent the volume not doing much and getting wrecked along the way. They haven’t really kept up with Team RWBY in terms of power although I wouldn’t expect them to. The main characters should always be in a different level compared to the supporting ones. That’s just how these things go.
Cinder and Neo still make for a pretty dangerous team. Cinder needs to watch her back since a betrayal could happen at any point. It’s a little hard for me to believe that Cinder was unable to get past the other Maiden’s ice abilities though. Cinder is a maiden herself and I can understand losing to Raven since Raven had years of experience, but an old maiden who’s getting ready to die? I’m not sure I can buy into that one. For Neo it was great to see her take down the heroes. I’ve always seen her as a top tier fighter close to Maiden level so it’ll be interesting to see who is actually able to stop her. The longer she goes undefeated the more she will stay in her mythical status of being seen as basically untouchable.
As for Team RWBY, they all look good. Blake doesn’t do too well in the big fight at the end as she has to get saved twice, but she still does contribute in the fight. Yang looks great throughout here as she helps the team make their decisions and also has the power to get things done when it counts. She is still using a lot of strategy in her fights which is good to see. Ruby looks great in the volume as she takes charge and gives orders with one exception. She only didn’t look very good in Salem’s big scene where Ruby bursts into tears right away. I thought she fell to tears way too quickly if you ask me and it just wasn’t very deserved at the time. It also made Ironwood’s decision that much easier since if the leader of the heroes bursts into tears when the villain shows up then they really don’t have much of a chance. Hopefully Ruby can keep it together when they actually fight Salem.
For Weiss this was an especially big volume. At long last she won her first true 1 on 1 fight which was awesome. It’s about time since she has trained a whole lot over the years. She earned this victory and also helps the team out quite a lot. Her summoning is only going to get better from here on out and that’ll make her a true threat in combat. Then we have Qrow who looks pretty good here. He still has some trouble with his bad luck like nearly tripping once, but as least he doesn’t spend the volume looking super nerfed or feeling sorry for himself this time. He looks pretty decent as he keeps up with Clover and Tyrian. It’ll also be interesting to see if he does try to assassinate Ironwood in the next volume. I’m surprised he let himself be captured though because that’s always a very dangerous risk.
Finally we’ve got Oscar who is doing his best to fit in with the crew. He still feels way weaker than the others, but always does his best to give good advice and talk to the various characters. Ozpin misses most of the volume so this is really just good ole Oscar. I’m not his biggest fan, but he’s not bad. There’s no way he should have actually landed that punch on Neo though. I don’t think anyone was buying that. She’s way too nimble and if she meant to knock him out then Oscar should not be waking up anytime soon.
So in the end I thought about it quite a bit and I would actually put this as the second best volume in the series. Right now I’m going to put the volumes as 3>7>6>2>5>1>4. 2 and 5 are pretty close but the train fights are still just too amazing to pass up. If the trend continues then Volume 8 could finally be the one to pass 3. It’ll be tough but with how many cool things are set up to happen we could reach that level. I’m ready for Salem to finally step in the ring herself. Sadly there is no after credits scene in this volume but I’d recommend sticking through the credits just for the song.
Overall, RWBY Volume 7 is a really great volume. We got to see more of Cinder and Neo which is always great as well as some excellent action scenes with RWBY and Ironwood to close things off. The first 9-10 episodes are a little slow, but the final few really help to give us the action we needed. It’ll work well in movie format since you can see all of that as set up for the big fights in the end. The ending is always super important and RWBY always delivers there. If you haven’t watched RWBY before then you need to do yourself a favor and check it out. You can watch this volume from the start and get what is happening since the volume is made in a clear way so you can watch it as a stand alone title, but you’d be missing out on so many hype scenes from the earlier days. I’d advise you to start from scratch.
Martin Riggs is one of those guys who gets the job done even if it may look a little messy at times. He’s not afraid of a whole lot, but facing Neo would terrify him. She wouldn’t even need a weapon to take him down since her raw strength is so impressive. A single punch would knock the fight out of Martin and I dare say that giving up is his best option. There’s just no way to take Neo down. Neo wins.
Jekyll has returned, but he won’t be able to win this round. Neo can take on the appearance of anyone she wants so she can mess with Jekyll’s fragile mental state by becoming another Hyde. The only difference here is that she can actually fight. Neo would easily be able to mess Jekyll up with minimal effort thanks to her advanced skill set. She’s simply too fast and advanced for him to do much. Neo wins.
All right, it’s time to take a look at some things that need to happen in RWBY Volume 7. It is quickly approaching and I feel like we need to be ready for it. As a result I have outlined the 10 things that absolutely must happen in order to solidify Volume 7 as one of the greats. I mean…it’s RWBY so it’ll be great either way but I want to see it reach the level of volume 3. Volume 6 set up a lot of hype plot lines which could and should have a big payoff here. While they won’t wrap everything up here since we’ll probably be stuck in Atlas for a while, a lot of big events should happen.
1. Cinder and Neo need to meet up with Team RWBY
No, we don’t want this whole volume to be a set up for their confrontation in Volume 8 as I’ve heard some discuss. I want Cinder and Neo to arrive in Atlas and fight the team in this volume. It’s fine if it takes half the season to get there, but I want a serious fight with Team RWBY and these two. At this point Cinder’s abilities are so great that she could probably take on the main 4 by herself while Neo deals with Qrow and Jaune’s team. They could even switch. It’s hard to say how formidable Neo would be against the heroes on her own since we haven’t seen much of her since volume 3 and the heroes have also gotten way stronger since the old days. That actually connects to another point later on. Regardless, this is a big fight that needs to happen. Whether they pick off some of the heroes one at a time or go for the full combo at once this will be the highlight of volume 7.
2. Winter’s Return
This is Atlas and Winter has been teased at for a very long time. What better way to make her return than in Volume 7? It already seems like this volume is going to have a ton of character development for Weiss and that makes sense. The last volume got a lot of closure for Blake and Yang as they dealt with Adam and Ruby always gets a lot of development about the Silver Eyes. This is Weiss’ time to shine and I also wouldn’t mind an upgrade to her current dust abilities. Atlas is her home turf and that need to be taken advantage of. I don’t mind if Winter and the father don’t show up but I’m sure they will.
3. Full Team RWBY fight
This could happen at the same time as the first option. I want a real fight with the complete RWBY team all at once. Can you believe that the only time we’ve seen them fight as a team against a capable foe was with Torchwick back in Volume 2? That’s absolutely crazy and we gotta change that. Fighting Grimm and random giant robots just doesn’t work for me. They can fight against Cinder or Salem, or someone else. The important factor is that this opponent needs to actually be a threat so we can see the team unleash some cool combo attacks on him as they go in for the win. I’d also expect this fight to get the full budget that it deserves because it’s such a big deal. In general Volume 6 brought the budget back way up so I’m not really concerned about that.
4. Ruby needs to learn to control her Silver Eyes
A lot of people point out and rightfully so that Ruby should have been learning how to control her Silver Eyes by now. They are an incredible asset against the Grimm and other enemies. Qrow at least knows about them so giving Ruby a heads up years ago would have been nice. Now that we have the Grimm Reaper there is no reason why we can’t have Ruby just unleash on all her foes. I feel like she has gotten a lot closer to mastering these abilities so completing that character arc in volume 7 would be ideal. It does mean that the Grimm may not be a threat anymore, but perhaps Salem will have a way to power them up.
5. Update on the White Fang
Adam is gone, but that doesn’t mean that the White Fang is no more. He was already split from them early on in volume 6 after murdering a few members and going rogue. I assume that someone else is now at the helm of this organization. While it will likely go to Blake in the long run I want some closure for them. Having the White Fang as an ally would be interesting or even better as a wild card that still messes with both sides. They don’t need a lot of screen time or anything. I’d be satisfied with even a quick mention or a small role where they are acknowledged.
6. I want to see some Atlas huntsmen/huntresses
It’s time to see what other regions have for defense. Beyond the cadets we don’t really know very many Huntsmen. Salem did murder most of them by now, but I imagine that Atlas would have a reasonable supply of them since they are so closed off from the rest of the world. I’m not talking about expendables like the guys who showed up in Volume 6, but real ones. As a last resort I could settle for the in training ones that we saw in the tournament but I’d like to see more. One theory from the trailer that came out is Atlas will have their military take down the team. I’d rather RWBY does not lose to guys with guns, it should be a full squad of Huntsmen and even then it should be a close fight. Ironwood is portrayed as a smart commander so I like to think that he has a good army ready to fight Salem with.
7. Beringels need to appear
Quite a few of the post credit scenes from previous RWBY volumes either did not happen, may have happened but we don’t know since no aftermath showed up, or had to re-happen in volume. I want the post credits scene from 6 to matter so these guy should appear. They are the new kind of Grimm we saw Salem make at the very end which have wings. They seem like they should end up being a very big threat so I look forward to seeing them give the heroes a tough time. They may even be Salem’s escort since Hazel hinted that she would be stepping up to the plate. So long as they appear then we’re good.
8. Raven needs to return
Volume 5 ended with Raven seemingly returning home to talk with Yang’s Dad. We haven’t seen any of this yet so I want them to either appear in the flashback or in the present to help out the team. Raven may not be a hero yet, but she is learning that Salem’s route won’t end well for her. Raven does still have incredible powers of her own so striking now makes sense. I doubt there is any member of Salem’s team who can handle her one on one. She needs to show up in Atlas and cause chaos or make a move on the villains. It’s the best way to protect her tribe and we really shouldn’t go 2 full volumes without seeing her.
9. Power Levels explained
The show isn’t big on explaining power levels, but it’s time we get something. Right now there are too many variables because of how much time has elapsed. We have no idea just how much stronger Ruby and friends are than they were in the first volume. Part of the problem here is that they were all extremely overpowered in the first 3 volumes and then got nerfed straight down for volumes 4 and 5. Volume 6 seems to have bumped them up again, but with all of the back and forth we’re more confused than ever. One example is Yang vs Mercury. Mercury was way above her level in volume 3 to the point where he was able to control the fight, but now Yang is hinted to be even stronger than the Grimm Reaper. Yang also assisted in beating Adam when she lost in one hit last time. Could Yang beat Mercury now? That’s just one question out of many. I think Qrow could give some exposition on where the team stands right now since he is the most experienced and would be the right person to offer some guidance and a proper assessment.
10. Salem needs to fight
This is the final but most important one. Salem’s been the big bad threat over the horizon since Volume 3. The problem is that she hasn’t done anything in the present since then. Personally I feel like Cinder or Raven could beat her at the moment. Salem’s advantage seems to be her regeneration since destroying her causes Salem to reconstitute like a sludge monster. It’s likely an instant rebirth so putting her down will be difficult. I want to see her in action. Part of me thinks her first victim would be either Raven or Cinder as she decides to just absorb a Maiden. While I’d be sad to see either one go, it would be the perfect way to show Salem’s strength. It would solidify her as a threat and I believe this shouldn’t wait until Volume 8. We need to see her power this season.
So those are the 10 things that I believe needs to happen in Volume 7. Let me know what you would like to see in this upcoming volume. It’s only around 2 weeks away now so it’ll be upon us before you know it. I’ve definitely got high hopes for it even if Adam won’t be showing up this time.
All right, it’s time for another RWBY list. The series has had a lot of quality action scenes throughout and that’s what has gotten the series so popular in the first place. It’s also pretty well balanced as every volume has been able to deliver a fight worthy of this list. This list isn’t quite as hard to create as picking the best characters but it’s still not easy either. Here are a few quick shoutouts to some of the fights that nearly made the list. The Food fight back in volume 2 was definitely a lot of fun. It was a friendly exhibition between team RWBY and JNPR but both teams really gave it their all and the choreography was on point. We have never gotten to see the 2 teams fight before and at this point it is unlikely that we ever will so this was the closest thing to such a team fight.
Another pair of shoutouts have to go to the 2 train fights that didn’t make it on the list. Blake vs Torchwick and Weiss vs the White Fang lieutenant. While the former fight was quite solid it was short and naturally less impressive than the season 1 fight. The Weiss fight was great and certainly delivered with a lot of quality visuals but it was just edged out by a few more fights. This one would fight with the Vernal fight as a close runner up. I also liked Yang’s battle against the two dancers in her trailer, but the fight was super short. All right, let’s launch into the list!
10. Ruby vs Torchwick and Neo
After seeing Neo completely wreck Yang back in season 2 I think it’s safe to say that everyone was looking forward to Neo’s next big fight. Well it finally happened here and as expected she had the upper hand. It is a little hard to say how well Ruby would really do against her since the fight was 1 vs 2, but Neo seemed to have the lead regardless. It’s a really solid fight that shows off the villains teamwork. The intense music in the background serves to amp it up even more.
9. Pyrrha vs Cinder
How could the final fight of Season 3 not make it? Pyrrha put up a really good fight considering that Cinder had ascended to be one of the 4 Maidens by this point. Her magnetic abilities are put to good use here and the fight has a lot of shockwave effects to emphasize how much power both of these fighters have. Even once you think Pyrrha is down for the count she manages to get one last hit in. A shame that her opponent was simply on another level.
8. RWBY vs Torchwick
We’ve seen teamwork from the villains so it’s time to look at the reverse. Team RWBY utilizes a flurry of combo moves in this match and it’s nice to see since during the timeskip between seasons 1 and 2 it’s expected that they would have had a lot of time to train. Each member is a lot more experienced now than they were before. We also got Yang’s cool “Die” song along with the best showing of her semblance in the whole series. Torchwick himself doesn’t get to fight much here, but his mech suit was certainly impressive. In general this is still the only real time we’ve gotten to see team RWBY fight a powerful opponent. Hopefully we get to see a fight like that in volume 6.
7. Torchwick vs Blake and Sun
This season 1 climax fight was great. For starters we actually got to see Torchwick fight hand to hand and it proved that he wasn’t simply a thug who hides behind his men. We knew that his cane was good from episode 1, but here he was easily crushing Blake and gave Sun an even fight. I don’t think he would have beaten Sun, but the fact that it is a possibility is certainly impressive. The fight is well choreographed and very fast paced.
6. Penny vs Pyrrha
This fight is probably a little underrated since it occurred amidst the plot really starting for the show so you were busy thinking about everything else. Penny’s manipulation with her swords is very similar to Pyrrha’s magnetism and makes for a fun match up. The music for this fight is really good and it’s just very fast. Both opponents are very skilled, but at the end of the day there is never any doubt as to who would emerge victorious.
5. Mercury and Emerald vs Coco and Yatsuhashi
The Tag Team matches in the tournament were definitely a blast. While the Weiss and Yang match didn’t quite make the list it was also pretty solid. This was the first time we got to see Mercury and Emerald fight for real and they lived up to the hype. The fact that they won this round so easily shows what a threat they are and it’s why to this day it’s hard to say whether any tag team of RWBY could hold their own against them. Mercury did most of the work in the opening stages and probably could have won in the 1 v 2, but Emerald’s illusions are just as handy. These guys are definitely a force to be reckoned with.
4. Tyrian vs Qrow
This fight is incredibly impressive and shows what a battle of professionals is like. Qrow and Tyrian are clearly fighting at a very high level here. Surprisingly Tyrian seems to have the edge for most of the fight which shows what a threat he is. The scene of Tyrian punching him was awesome since we rarely see a fighter attack without their weapon. The group fight prior to this one was a lot of fun too and this was easily the highlight of season 4. I’m definitely eager to see Tyrian reappear in the next volume. Also hopefully Qrow gets back to this level of power.
3. Yang vs Neo
This fight doesn’t have anything fancy. Neither fighter is using any kind of special energy blast and they aren’t in a volcano or anything. It’s simply a very basic hand to hand fight where both combatant is doing their best to bring the opponent down. That’s part of what makes the fight so impressive as it’s just a really serious battle of skill. Neo is clearly a few steps ahead here and even takes the time to make fun of Yang in the process. Definitely a great way to debut (Not counting cameos) and Raven’s appearance at the end was also pretty hype.
2. Yang vs Mercury
For a while this had been my favorite fight and it still holds up incredibly well. The battle music really sets the stage here. As soon as the first punch is thrown the tempo never slows down. Both fighters are absolutely relentless using every attack in their arsenal until the opponent is down. Their fighting styles of hand to hand vs kicks is also a nice contrast. It also helps that I’m a huge fan of both characters!
1. Raven vs Cinder
For all the heat the last volume has gotten in terms of avoiding fights, it definitely delivered with this one. While it’s hard to say if it was worth spending almost the entire budget in a single fight, it’s hard to deny the results. We got to see two of the strongest characters in the series duke it out and they weren’t pulling their punches. The strength and speed they exhibited is what you would expect from a Maiden. It was a great way to wrap up volume 5 and it’s also a high bar for all future Maiden fights. I will accept nothing less after seeing how great this fight was.
So that’s my Top 10! I look forward to seeing how many fights volume 6 will add to this. RWBY lists never get old, but my next ones/editorials will likely venture out into other franchises so be on the lookout for those!
All right, it’s time to head back into the world of RWBY as I look at the top 10 characters in the series. There are a lot of quality characters and I’m sure that the list will continue to change and evolve as more volumes come out. 5 volumes is a good amount of content to make such a list though so here is how it is right now.
I liked this character as soon as he showed up. His hairstyle and personality is very similar to Sasuke from Naruto. At this point we had already had quite a few villains, but none with the smug and confident nature of Mercury. His fight with Yang also showed just how skilled he was and solidified him as a true threat to any hunter or huntress. Unfortunately he hasn’t gotten a whole lot to do as of late but he is a villain that just hits all of the right notes. At most he just doesn’t make for a very convincing hero but that is probably low on his list of priorities.
This guy was pretty cool as soon as he showed up in the Black trailer. He was an experienced veteran whose abilities were even higher than those of the main characters. He’s also a villain who is fighting for a good cause. It doesn’t justify his actions but at least I can understand his motivation and why he feels like he had to succeed. Volume 5 didn’t really seem to understand this all that well as Blake became more of a priority for him. Still, at his core he is just a man trying to fight for equality by destroying everyone who stands in his way. Taking down Yang in a single hit was an insane feat and he is a character who just seems untouchable. Next to the 4 Maidens he is very likely the strongest character in the series. He is definitely a divisive one in the series but I dare say that he might have the strongest drive. Whenever he shows up you know that it’s bad news for the heroes.
At 3rd we have the best hero, Yang. As early as the Yellow trailer is was clear that she was going to be the best of the main 4. She is very confident and always eager for a fight. Her hand to hand combat skills is a nice way to make her unique from the others. Yang did lose her fighting spirit for a while during volume 4 which threatened to hurt the character a bit but she recovered for volume 5 and quickly got back to acting like her usual self. It is a shame that she lost her arm as the robotic one just isn’t as fun but I am eager to see Yang get a proper rematch with Mercury. She didn’t seem to be doing too well in the recent bout but it was hardly a fair 1 vs 1 fight.
Out of all the characters in the series Raven likely has the best debut of them all. Saving Yang just in the nick of time from Neo was pretty hype. Still, it wasn’t until volume 5 that Raven really came into her own as a great character. We got to see her as a master strategist and as a wild card who was dangerous to both sides. Obtaining the Maiden’s power and then keeping it quiet was genius. Honestly her plan would have been flawless if she has attacked Cinder right away in the vault as she would have gotten away with Vernal scot free. I am looking forward to what I feel is an inevitable confrontation with Salem although admittedly her odds don’t look great for winning such a fight. Raven has a lot of experience with her abilities though so if any maiden can beat her it would be Raven.
Torchwick isn’t one of the strongest villains at this point as he has long since been surpassed but his charisma is certainly one of a kind. He delivers a lot of clever dialogue whenever he is on screen and the fact that he can fight so well without aura is also really impressive. He was able to defeat Blake and Ruby while also proving to be an even match for Sun. It’s a shame that he didn’t stick around a little longer because maybe he could still hold his own with some of the heavy hitters. RWBY originally started out with a lot of humor to complement the action and Torchwick is a large part of why it worked so well.
Cinder has really been the main villain of the RWBY series. Until volume 3 she seemed to be the leader of the villains. While we eventually found out that she had a leader, it didn’t change the fact that Cinder got the most screen time. As with Yang she took volume 4 to recover and came back better than ever in volume 5. Her vendetta against Cinder has caused her to be a little more aggressive and unhinged as of late but having half of your face burned off will do that. Cinder is probably the smartest character in the series and even before her Maiden abilities she was a considerable threat. Her presence will be missed in the future but at the same time I do think that her character arc had a perfect ending. Naturally if they decide to bring her back which is fairly likely I would have no qualms with that.
Neo is a relatively minor villain who instantly became a fan favorite during her fight with Yang. Her character is pretty unique as she can’t speak so her fighting style and facial expressions have to be used to decipher her character. She goes into action only on special occasions when she is trying to prevent the heroes from reaching an objective. Given how she effortlessly defeated Yang it’s clear that her abilities are at a very high level. As she is still alive I am hoping that she finally gets a big fight in volume 6.
Qrow is definitely a fun character to have around who is a big contrast to the rest of the heroes. He is often very sarcastic to everyone and openly critical of any hero who isn’t Ozpin. There was a time where he was my favorite RWBY character but the days of him being a great solo act appear to be over. He’s turned into a bit of a yes man for Oz and has also been severely nerfed in the process. Nevertheless I won’t forget his great volume 3 debut where he fought Winter. Seeing a competent huntsman is also nice since half the time you wonder how useful the grownups really are.
Pyrrha is a genius fighter and a true prodigy. Despite this, she surprisingly wasn’t cocky or super aggressive the way you would expect her to be. Instead she is one of the nicest characters in the series and has a great character arc. Pyrrha is definitely the most interesting character of team JNPR and made their plot a lot more interesting. While her odds of returning to the main cast get slimmer with every season, there is certainly always the chance that she will return. Her magnetic abilities served her well and I believe she would still be a threat to many of the current villains. Her abilities were ahead of their time.
Finally we have Weiss. She started out as a very antagonistic character who was really critical of Ruby but gradually became one of her most loyal supporters. She’s had a lot of character development throughout the series and may be the most mature member of the group at this point. Even when she was out of practice Weiss was able to put up a bit of a fight against Vernal. Honestly I think she should have been able to win that fight but depending on what metrics you look at it may have been over 6 months since she had last fought a real opponent and Weiss had no time to train during that gap either. That really didn’t put her in top form for the fight. With her special rapier, Weiss always has the potential to become the strongest member of Team RWBY.
So that’s my list of the Top 10 RWBY characters. There are quite a lot of villains on that list but the balance between light and dark isn’t too skewed. (6-4 is pretty equal) The series does a great job of developing both sides and many characters in this list aren’t separated by all that much which is why the placements in the list tend to swap a lot. For example the gap between 4 and 7 is very small and that’s a big chunk of the list. At least now when someone asks who my favorite RWBY hero and villain is I will be able to quickly respond or take a peak at this list.
It’s time to take a look at the greatest TV show of all time. For a long while Yugioh GX held that spot and I never thought that it would be surpassed or even that it could. Then one day I happened to notice the twitch marathon channel tuning into RWBY. They were in season 2 and I saw the hype battle between team RWBY and Torchwick. I stuck around for about 4 episodes before deciding this was a show that I needed to watch and so I went back to the beginning and marathoned it. I’ve since seen most of the episodes 3 times thanks to various reaction videos and the fights more times than that. It’s certainly a title that I imagine will stay in 1st for a very long time.
There are 5 volumes so let’s go through them all from the beginning. The premise of the series is that the planet has been overrun by the Grimm. These are shadow creatures who destroy at random and thanks to their sheer numbers humanity has had a very hard time dealing with them. Fortunately they found out how to harness aura. Aura allows you to shield yourself from injury and also lets you augment your attacks. 4 kingdoms arose and various little villages sprang up as well although those tend to be destroyed by bandits or Grimm monsters. The people who fight back against the Grimm and defend our borders are known as Huntsman. They are our last defense.
The series focuses on team RWBY who are comprised of Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, and Yang Xiao Long. They don’t actually form until midway through the season though. The first volume is mainly set up with the heroes having their first real confrontation with the enemy near the end of the volume. It’s definitely a really fun volume and one that has aged pretty well. It got the ball rolling for the series after all and did a good job with everyone’s personalities.
I should also mention that part of how the series built up a lot of hype before even airing was through the 4 character shorts they released before the series even started. Each of the main 4 characters got their own and the shorts were all about the action. If we count them as episodes then they are all likely still in the top half for me. All 4 of them are excellent but if I had to pick a favorite then it would be the Yang special. It’s the longest which leads to the most action, but she is also the most enjoyable character of the 4. You may have expected the show to be a little different than it was if you saw the 4 shorts and then went into the show, but ultimately the fights do come so it’s not as if they were cut off entirely. It was a wise move to make the shorts about the fights as a glimpse of what was to come.
Volume 1’s soundtrack is also amazing and some of the best tunes in the series are in this volume like the theme song. This Will Be The Day is a song that I have heard well over 100 times at this point and it certainly never gets old. It’s very fast paced and gets you psyched up. Then we also have Red Like Roses II and even just the normal instrumental tunes that show up. The animation was pretty simple and not too detailed here, but it really showed up whenever an action scene would pop up. It’s a really balanced volume.
Next up was Volume 2. Now that the heroes had scored their first win against the villains they were ready to try again. The first half of the season follows their attempts to shut Torchwick and his cronies for good. We also start to get some set up towards events in season 3 like the villains big move and the tournament. They also squeeze in a school dance and even an invasion. Season 2 throws in a bunch of new characters and has a lot of fights so it’s definitely the logical next step from volume 1. It’s essentially better in every way which is always how you want a show to be. It should get better with each season.
The animation has noticeably improved from season 1 as everything just looks more modern. This translates really well into the fight scenes as well. We get some of the best fights in the series here like Yang vs Neo or the team against Torchwick. Each half of the season has a nice climax and there are no bad episodes here. Well, the whole series has never had a bad episode so that goes without saying. We got some new tunes to write home about here as well like the great opening, Die, and Sacrifice. Little did I know that the series would get even better.
Season 3 is the absolute peak for RWBY and a major part of why it is the best show. The tournament finally starts up and lasts for the majority of the season. Then the villains finally make their big move which leads to a lot of fights. Almost every big character who was referenced or introduced earlier gets to have a nice role here as well. The episodes also start to get longer in this season which is good since the ongoing plot starts to take root here. We are introduced to the concept of the 4 maidens and the relics which is what the rest of the series will likely be about. At the very least the next 2 volumes are about this plot and it stands to reason that volume 6 will follow suit.
The animation is at its best here for the fights as my personal favorite match happens. (Yang vs Mercury) Divide is really a highlight song for this volume as well and it works perfectly for the end credits. The climax of volume 3 is also the most ambitious yet as we finally get to see what some high level fights look like. By high level I’m not necessarily referring to animation as they’re all high level up to this point, but in universe what some of the stronger fighters can do.
Then we move on to volume 4 which definitely gets pretty interesting for the series. Unfortunately I’d say that this is around the same where the series got really mainstream. This one decided to go for an even more plot based approach with minimal action. The animation style was also completely overhauled and so we lost 2/3 of what made the original seasons so amazing. We still did keep the solid soundtrack though and while we lost the pacing, things do get intense when they finally happen. Volume 4 is easily the weakest season for me, but theoretically it is meant to help Volume 5 be even better since the whole volume is set up.
Volume 4 isn’t completely devoid of fights either. We get Qrow vs Tyrian which is known as one of the best fights in the series and I would absolutely agree with the consensus. Then there is also the season finale fight against the Nuckle which isn’t a personal favorite of mine, but it is certainly a fight. I’d say that the season had 4 real fights which isn’t half bad. The actual animation does look sharp so it’s not as if the overhaul was a strict downgrade. On the contrary, the character models are on point. Everyone basically looks the same except for Ruby and now they’re in HD. The real problems with the animation is the facts that the animators don’t seem to know how to use it.
There were a lot of behind the scene issues here and I also suspect that the show was trying to nerf all of the characters a bit to mask their animation inexperience. The characters go from being incredibly fast powerhouses who felt like DBZ characters to suddenly being very mortal. Their attacks lack any actual impact anymore and they seem to have trouble with monsters that wouldn’t have stood a chance back in the day. As big a deal as it was in volume 4, I’m afraid that these issues would rear their head even more in volume 5. 4 also made sure to cram in as much exposition as possible to the point where it would take them 5 minutes to say something that you would figure out in 1. This may be my least favorite volume, but it’s still good on its own. It would probably just be a 7 as opposed to a 9 much less a 10. As far as the soundtrack goes we were introduced to Qrow’s new theme which is definitely very solid and Yang’s theme from the end credits which still ranks as my favorite song. A close second is the first volume’s intro with Divide being third. This is the End could end up passing those once the full version is released though. I also liked Weiss’ song “This Life Is Mine” which was another standout hit. The franchise has never had a season go by without some new epic songs.
Then we have volume 5. Here we finally get the big payoff as the heroes and villains have their first confrontation since volume 3. The battle for the next kingdom finally begins and we have our first Maiden battle. Naturally the big hype for this volume is that team RWBY is finally together. Maybe that’s another area that hurt the last volume. Seeing Mercury and Emerald get to fight again was pretty fun as well and as a whole the volume was just a lot more epic than the last one. If we had the same level of fight quality as volume 3 then 5 would have had a real shot at being the best.
The problem here is that the lack of fights is even more glaring than in volume 4 and likewise with the nerfs. Everyone seems to fight in slow motion for the most part. Compare Yang’s fight against the bandits to her fight against the gang members in the original Yellow trailer. The volume 5 fight just doesn’t look impressive at all. The choreography may look nice, but there’s nothing impressive about how quickly she is taking them down. In the time it takes her to beat one guy she has probably steam rolled 2-3 in the yellow trailer with a flurry of more powerful blows. This may have all been to make the Maidens look more impressive. I heard that the big fight at the end took 6 months to animate. I am really hoping that this isn’t true. While it does give a concrete reason for why the fights have come to a halt in the later volumes, it would just be a bad sign for future seasons. We need every fight to look like the final one, not just one per volume.
I also do have to admit that volume 5 wrecked the climax. “The More The Merrier” is definitely one of my favorite episodes in the franchise as it perfectly set up all of the fights. Yang vs Mercury, Qrow vs Raven, Ruby vs Weiss, etc. When the episode ended we even got a conclusion to one of the fights so you expect the rest to continue. The problem is that they don’t. None of the fights ever actually happen as it cuts away every time and we just see the aftermath. It doesn’t even make sense half the time as in one scene the heroes are basically out of energy and getting obliterated and in the next cut it is the exact opposite. The power levels also got quite wonky by the end and the way Raven’s plot ended in volume 5 was actually terrible. Volume 5 was still a lot of fun regardless and it was certainly hype, but it could have ended on a much better note. The soundtrack was great as always though. I did enjoy the new opening quite a lot and the song for Raven vs Cinder is definitely one of the best in the series. I think volume 5 may have introduced the largest amount of epic tunes out of all the volumes since we also got From Shadows Part II and the theme from Yang’s new trailer. Raven vs Cinder is also one of the best fights in the series so it shows that the animation is still on point. Volume 5 has a lot of replay value and you can definitely see the episodes quite a few times.
All right, it’s time for the bulk of the review which is looking at the large cast in the series. Brace yourself as I will talk about almost every character who had a reasonably large role or has survived and thrived as a meme like Pilot Boi. Naturally we should start off with the main character Ruby. From the first trailer you may have expected her to be a very intense character of few words who viciously finishes off her opponents, but she’s actually rather timid and mild mannered around others at first. This doesn’t apply when she is fighting off villains though as she eagerly jumps into battle in episode one against Torchwick and his cronies. That scene alone had me convinced that she would be a great character. She doesn’t back off when bickering with Weiss and always does her best to help everyone out. She didn’t blame Pyrrha for what happened to Penny which is good since that would have been an annoying plot and she put up a great fight against Neo and Torchwick. At the end of the day she is also a smart tactician and that is really what makes her a dangerous fighter. Once she finally masters her white eyes then she could be the strongest in the series or at least top 5.
Next up is Yang who is the best character of the four. She can turn Super Saiyan when taking damage and tends to have the best themes as well. Yang has always been known as the power hitter of the group and tends to be trusted to take on the strongest opponents. In volume 2 she is left to face off against Neo while she takes on Mercury in volume 3. While she isn’t quite the strongest character in the series, I’d say that she is definitely the most powerful student. She wasn’t able to train much during volume 4 and it’s unknown if her robot arm will be as good as her old one (I’m inclined to say that it isn’t as good) but it’s safe to say that she has retained her rank among the other fighters. Yang didn’t look good during volume 4 with her depression subplot but by volume 5 she is over it and finally back into the fight. I’m looking forward to seeing her get some more fight scenes as Yang is still my favorite hero in the series and 3rd favorite character overall.
Weiss was Ruby’s rival for a little while and definitely was the meanest of the group. It basically comes with the territory of being rich and gifted with immense power. She eventually learns how to be a team player though and probably has the best synergy with Ruby. They tend to pull off some really good combo attacks like the one against the Nevermore or their overall strategy against Torchwick’s robot. She has transformed from a close range fighter to more of a long range summoning specialist over the course of the volumes. We haven’t gotten to see Weiss fight all that much compared to the others, but it’s fair to say that she has the potential to be the strongest member. Her elemental abilities and glyphs already make her a dangerous opponent so throwing in the summons makes her a fighter who can be lethal at any range. I’m still a little upset that she was defeated so handily against Vernal, but since she wasn’t really able to practice or spar at all for a very long time, I can buy into the excuse that she was rusty and out of practice. All of team RWBY (minus Ruby) have had really extensive character arcs so it’s a little bold to say that Weiss has had the most development out of all of them but a case can be made in her defense. Either way she is definitely a great character and the 2nd best member of Team RWBY.
Finally we have Blake. She’s probably dealt with the most issues out of the team as she had a tough childhood and basically now has to assume command of an army at a young age. As she is a Faunus she has superhuman levels of ability but at the same time she has to deal with all of the social stigmas of being part animal. Blake is my least favorite member of the cast since she ditched everyone to run away from the villains in order to save herself. Sun eventually talked her out of it, but I was never really able to get around that. I can understand why Yang was so upset at her even if the two eventually made up. Hopefully that’s the end of that plot so in volume 6 we can skip ahead to the epic fights. Blake was hit with the nerf hammer the hardest though along with everyone in her plot like Adam but more on that later. I think what hurt Blake a little as well was her incredibly long subplot that took up a big chunk of seasons 4 and 5 with a bunch of characters that I didn’t care about either. She’s a good character overall, but was definitely at her best in volume 2 if you ask me as she desperately kept searching the city to destroy Torchwick. She had a tangible goal there and really worked to get to it. Here she now has an army and can cross large distances in impossible times to help foil an invasion but she still doesn’t seem to have the same drive and intensity that she used to have. Now if she could get a little stronger for volume 6 that could help her. It will be very tough to pass any of the other 3, but that’s not really a bad thing since they are all very solid characters. Someone has to be last after all.
We looked at team RWBY so now it’s time to look at JNPR. Pyrrha may not have been the leader of the team, but she was their best fighter so I’ll discuss her character first. For many series there is a character that I place as my favorite before properly watching the series like Gaara in Naruto, Piccolo in DBZ, etc. Pyrrha was the character that I chose in RWBY and while she did get surpassed by quite a few characters she is still certainly one of the best ones. Her fighting abilities are on such a high level that she was considered to be a prodigy. Pyrrha is also one of the nicest characters in the series and tries to defend Jaune when people make fun of him. Her big fight at the end was great and she never really had a bad moment in the series. It’s just a shame that she couldn’t have appeared more than she had.
Then we’ve got Jaune who is basically the polar opposite of Pyrrha. He isn’t particularly talented at anything and as a fighter he is one of the worst in the series. He isn’t very fast or strong and is basically a human fighting among heroes. Surprisingly he has yet to get a power up at the moment, but as a result he also wasn’t nerfed when everyone else was so that has helped him close the gap a bit. His speed now seems to be on roughly the same level as everyone else. He does have a healing ability in his back pocket which is sure to be helpful as well. He was a really solid comic relief character for the first 3 volumes. Now he is more of a quiet rage character who blows up when the villains appear. He definitely works well in both roles but he desperately needs a power up at some point.
Nora and Ren had a high bar to get over since Jaune and Pyrrha were so solid. They never quite make it up there, but they aren’t bad characters. I guess they just don’t add much to the story. Nora is always fairly cheerful and is low key known as one of the stronger fighters in the school. She has a lot of raw power at any rate and while she doesn’t tend to take anything too seriously she does know when to turn the comedy switch off when necessary. I do think she is basically irrelevant at this point as far as the power levels are concerned, but her fans will be happy that she gets her moment in volume 5. Then we have Ren who suffers from the same issues as Nora. In his case he isn’t the super cheerful character, but the quiet one. As a result he tends to be a little slow on the uptake and gives the characters obvious exposition or just acts as a nuisance. His past traumatized him quite a bit so he was ready to desert Ruby and Jaune just to get out of the area. Later on he gives a big speech on what the meaning of character development is. Maybe if Ren gets more screen time that isn’t him just talking that would help as he had some potential when he briefly fought against Tyrian. In theory he has more proper hand to hand training and warrior skills than some of the other characters, but it never seems to be all that important. He’s not my kind of character, but he’s not bad.
It’s time to look at the first big villain of the series, Torchwick. Torchwick is a great villain and certainly one of the best ones. He manages to balance out his sarcastic humor with his more intense scenes to become the great villain that he is today. Considering that he seems to be a normal crook with no aura or anything, it’s actually very impressive how well he fights. He was holding his own against Blake and Sun. Later on he was even giving Ruby a good run for her money. He’s definitely a villain who steals the show during every appearance that he is in and Torchwick will not be forgotten.
Neo was Torchwick’s right hand woman and she is definitely one of the strongest villains. She defeated Yang with absolute ease as she was just toying with the hero during the whole confrontation. After that she went on to overwhelm Ruby in their fight although it wasn’t as one sided as you would expect. Perhaps Ruby’s fighting style would be tougher to counter since she isn’t a hand to hand combatant, but the fight was too brief to really speculate on all that much. The show actually did a good job of balancing Team RWBY for a while there as they were all about equal overall but with different fighting styles so the matchups were very important. Despite being one of the best villains as well as one of the most powerful Neo surprisingly hasn’t done all that much in the series. She’s had 2 fights and that has been it. Hopefully she will return in volume 6.
Salem is the big bad. She’s the leader of the villain organization but hasn’t gotten to fight yet. She talks tough in the background though and it can be very reasonably inferred that her abilities are considerable. Honestly I find it hard to believe that she can keep up with some of the faster opponents while in that cloak and she always walks around as if she is very old. These can all just be red herrings though and I expect big things for when she actually fights. Salem’s definitely a very good leader for the villains though as her design and voice are perfect for the character. She feels about as intimidating as the embodiment of darkness should be.
Cinder isn’t the leader of the villains, but she is the figure head. She carries out all of Salem’s orders and is the face of the villains to the general populace. Her plans started very early on in the first volume even as we slowly learned the chain of command. She was a considerable fighter from the start and only grew stronger once she obtained the Maiden abilities. It’s easy to see why she is a fan favorite and I definitely like Cinder a lot as well. She is powerful and intelligent which is the ultimate combo as a villain. She even outsmarted Raven even if she wasn’t quite as powerful in the end. If her character arc has finally ended then it was still a very satisfying adventure. That being said, I would certainly like for her to return so we can get some more Maiden battles.
Mercury is a really great villain who is certainly one of my favorites. Honestly the villain ranks are stacked with awesome characters like him, Neo, Torchwick, Emerald, Cinder, and Adam. So…pretty much all of the main villains from the early part of the series. Mercury actually ranks above all of them as my number 1 favorite character in the series. It’s hard to say exactly when that happened, but I just love that smug arrogance that he has. He looks and sounds like Sasuke as well which fits the character. It’s hard to say exactly how strong he is since he threw the fight with Yang, but at the very least he is quite high tier. It’s hard to say at this point if he is still stronger than each of the members of Team RWBY, but I’m inclined to say that they haven’t quite caught up to him. I feel like his role in the story is almost over though so hopefully he at least gets one more fight.
Emerald is Mercury’s partner and definitely doesn’t seem to like working with him all that much. They’ve been teaming up for quite a while though and usually have some fun banter going back and forth. What makes Emerald really shine is that she’s not only a great villain, but also performs very well as a fake hero. She’s really over the top with how cheerful she can be and would fit right in with the heroes if it wasn’t an act. Her illusion abilities are very hard to deal with and her close combat skills are also top notch. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing her fight again.
Pilot Boi got to appear for a cameo in volume 4, but didn’t really get huge til volume 5. He was voted as the greatest RWBY character in the Reddit poll and I can definitely sympathize with them. He’s an incredible character and to say that he is just a meme would be doing the character a great disservice. Every line uttered by the Pilot Boi is gritty and to the point, but not in a bad way. He just lays out the facts honestly. He only cares about himself and his money so everything else isn’t his concern. Even Weiss knows better than to mess with the guy. There are a lot of fans who hope he survived the crash and I do as well. He needs to return and to get an action scene to prove that he is more than just a fad. Just listen to his lines and you’ll see why he is such an iconic character.
Then we’ve got Ozpin who is the head of the school and later inhabits the body of Oscar Pine. He is always very shady and likes to keep a lot of secrets. We’ve certainly seen this kind of character many times before and I’m typically not a fan. He is no exception either. Ozpin doesn’t think anything through. The whole point of the school he built was to defend the Relic that was hidden there from Salem by essentially having an army of powerful students there at all times. The problem is that he didn’t tell them about this or even how to fight since they all tries to run away when the villains showed up. He doesn’t tell Ruby how to use her powers and doesn’t even tell his teammates when they are heading into a trap. He is definitely a “The ends justify the means” character who would fit right in with the villains. He can’t be trusted if you ask me.
Oscart is an interesting character as I thought his name was Oscar, but the credits of volume 5 corrected me. I guess I’ll spell it the easier way anyway though. He’s a rather annoying character for many reasons. One of those reasons is that he doesn’t know anything so the show has to waste time explaining basic concepts to him like aura and how to fight. He has never trained before, but suddenly he is on the level of the other heroes thanks to Ozpin hax? I don’t like that one bit and he does quite a bit of whining and panicking throughout the show. He never develops into a good character and it’s taking him way too long as it is. Hopefully he is better for volume 6 as right now he just exists to make the power levels wonky and to be the Chris (Sonic X) of RWBY.
Winter is Weiss’ older sister and a very accomplished fighter. She has had a very minimal amount of screen time so far, but has still managed to become quite the fan favorite character over the years. Her fight with Qrow was very impressive and I would like to see her fight more in the next volume. Like Weiss she has quite a lot of confidence. Having her around to teach Weiss more would be good and she is just a solid character to have around. She will also help to keep Qrow in line and her presence would force him not to slack off. After all Qrow was clearly losing his touch in volume 5 as he got humiliated by Hazel. He looked so terrible in the whole volume that I have to wonder what the writers were thinking. Qrow is a very powerful huntsman who is fast and strong. He was able to compete with Tyrian after all. How is he too weak to even injure Hazel? His sword should absolutely leave a dent and then he is also too slow to dodge any of Hazel’s attacks either. Their mini spars were always just annoying and it’s been tough for Qrow. Don’t worry, he’s still a pretty awesome character though. His first scenes are still classic as he is always drinking and insulting everyone. He’s quite smug and knows how strong he is. Volume 3 was certainly his best volume.
Next to Cinder, Tyrian is probably the most impressive of the enemy fighters. I would like to see him go up against Neo, but at the moment I would give him the edge in a fight. He’s definitely a very psychotic villain as he laughs a lot and certainly enjoys inflicting pain. His fight in volume 4 was really good and you have to appreciate how he likes to skip the talking and go right into the action. He’s vicious as you would expect a villain to be and from the cabal he is definitely the best member. Lets contrast that with Hazel who is the worst one. He wasn’t necessarily a bad villain during his early phase as he always talked with a soft voice and didn’t like violence. Then we learn about his sob story where his sister died and suddenly he turns into the Hulk with a mechanical edge to his voice. As soon as he became super bulky and slow I knew that he didn’t stand a chance here. Not only is his reasoning quite poor since it makes no sense, but turning him into the “strong but not smart” trope is never a good idea. Even his ability to block out pain isn’t a very useful one to have if you ask me as it can serve as more of a liability than anything else.
Back to the heroes we have Penny who is an android with super strength. She befriends Ruby and the gang and is also a pretty nice character. She can be a little naive being a robot and all though which doesn’t quite help her to rank with the other characters. Still, she pulls out all of the stops when it comes to the fights though and her battle with Pyrrha was also quite impressive. She may not have done a whole lot during the series but was a nice character to have around.
Raven is definitely one of the best villains in the series. It’s fair to call her a villain since she does murder a bunch of innocents even if I wasn’t too consistent in counting her as one during the review. She doesn’t really get to do anything until volume 5, but stopping Neo in her tracks just by appearing was a great way to debut. She looked terrific in volume 5 as she won every fight that she took part in and may very well be the strongest character in the series at the moment. Her ability to teleport is definitely a very potent one. Giving up the relic still makes absolutely no sense, and Raven’s plan to deal with Cinder was bad as well, but she’s still a great character. Raven may not be a great tactician, but she is a superb character and that’s what counts. She could potentially be top 5 as well, but there are probably 10 characters who are top 5 material which is why it gets tough.
Adam is another one of those characters and he looked great in the first volumes. He appeared to be a hype rival type character in the Black trailer and then ended season 2 on the most epic note possible. In season 3 he looked spectacular with how easily he defeated Yang and Blake. In Volume 5 I liked his new costume, but that was about it. He went from being Maiden level to going down to a single blow from Blake. It’s really hard to get back up from such a disgraceful performance. No matter, either way he is still a personal favorite character of mine and I would still say that he is one of the strongest in the series. You just have to ignore the plot armor/convenience of many moments during the V5 climax.
Vernal is one of the newest characters to show up, but she has already become quite solid. I gained a lot of respect for her during the fight scene with Weiss. Her choice of weapon is definitely quite good as it is basically a Tron disc like the one Tyrian uses. It can also shoot out laser blasts which is really handy. Her skills are the real deal for sure and I would like to see more of her in action although that doesn’t look likely at all. Her role may not have been huge, but it was memorable.
It’s time to look at the characters from Blake’s plot. First up is Sun who is the best of these characters. His best role was certainly in season 1 as he decided to help Blake out by fighting Torchwick. Right from the start he was a loyal partner to have at the ready. The romance angle started getting played up a little more in future seasons which wasn’t great, but at least he is always a solid character. He still seems to be quite a bit stronger than her and it’s impressive that he’s managed to keep up so well. He’s just a very solid character.
Then we’ve got Blake’s parents Kali and Ghira. They’re pretty reasonable characters and are much better than Weiss’ parents. They are pretty understanding about Blake’s running away and have totally forgiven her. They do a good job of managing their country and affairs while remaining grounded. Then you have the childhood traitor Ilia who decided to team up with Adam to destroy Blake. Well, you know how I typically don’t forgive traitors. Ilia falls into this same hole as the heroes forgive her almost instantly, but I can’t. She was perfectly willing to destroy everyone and would have done so if she wasn’t stopped. You can’t just shake your head and allow her back into the fold so easily. She’ll have to really prove herself to become a better character. There were also a bunch of random villains in this mini arc who forked for the two fox brothers, but they were all very weak and expendable. One of the hype villains got one shotted by Kali who was holding a tray! That’s when you know that the villain can’t be taken seriously.
Finally I’ll mention some of the more minor characters that I almost skipped. We have Glynda who is the first huntsman that we see in the series. Her abilities haven’t really been explained in universe yet, but I’m sure someone has figured them out by now. They seem like transmutation or time alteration, but either way she always looked impressive. That’s why I am hoping we see her fight an actual opponent at some point since surprisingly that hasn’t happened yet. We’ve also got Ironwood who has seen a little more action than her. He seems to be a bit of a Superman figure with how he talks and the design. However, the series is hinting that he could become a bit of a villain as he gets more and more desperate to protect his kingdom. He also has 2 seats on the council and may get corrupt with power. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that, but at the very least I am definitely a fan of his at the moment. Neptune deserves a quick mention, but honestly he never contributed much except towards the dance plot. He’s not a good character honestly and would probably rank as one of the worst in the series. He’s not funny and we don’t need one of those characters who is always flirting in this show. I can see why he was written out so quickly.
Oobleck is one of the teachers at Beacon and he has super speed along with a close range fire gun of sorts. It’s a pretty interesting weapon. He’s not a bad character, but never really does all that much as he makes sure to vanish before the real enemies show up. Port is another teacher and he gives some decent life lessons. He can be a little annoying though as his scenes drag on so fortunately he doesn’t appear much. Then we have Taiyang who is Ruby and Yang’s father. He seems like a decent fighter, but he will probably be more impressive when we actually see him get to take on a villain. I’m expecting big things from him since he was on the same team as Raven and Spring. Considering how good a fighter Yang was back in the day I don’t agree with Taiyang’s analysis that she uses her Super Saiyan mode too much, but I guess as long as he snapped her out of her depression I’ll let it slide.
Then we’ve got Cardin who was the big bully for season 1. He never really shows up again after that, but he was an entertaining guy. Cardin was certainly clever though and manipulated Jaune and the others like a champ. Flynt was a pretty good fighter from the tournament who actually managed to take down Weiss. His fighting abilities are nothing to scoff at and I liked his theme music as well. I was less impressed with his partner Neon, but I suppose she had fun during the fight so that’s nice. Maybe if she trash talked a little better or just didn’t talk much then I would have been more of a fan.
Then we’ve got Junior who was humiliated by Yang. He’s not a great character at all, but he is surprisingly brave as he stood up to Yang after she demolished all of his men. His two subordinates were great though as the twin dancers really gave Yang a run for her money. Then we have the original Spring Maiden Amber. She was clearly not a great fighter as she was beaten rather easily even though a Maiden is supposed to be crazy strong. She should have practiced more and I question what she was doing all by herself anyway.
Lionheart is one of the more recent villains and he’s definitely no good. He’s not meant to be an interesting villain anyway though as you’re supposed to notice how cowardly he is and then shake your head. There aren’t really any good qualities about this villain and it doesn’t help that he is also super weak. Watts is one of the members of the villain group, but he has yet to fight. Still, he is a solid villain so far as he really likes taking shots at Cinder. He always knows just what to say and that’s why he also needs to be a good fighter just to make sure that he can back up the tough talk. Sienna was the leader of the White Fang who was hyped for quite a while so it was rather funny how her plot ended. She was a good character, but definitely not a particularly smart one since she didn’t seem to see any of the events coming before they happened. Finally, there is also Adam’s right hand man who fought Weiss during season 2. He never got to get a final fight to finish up his character arc, but from how decisively he was able to defeat Weiss we can tell that he is very powerful. It would be great to see him fight again, especially since the character has no name at the moment.
You can probably accurately surmise how I rank all of the volumes at this point, but I’ll spell it out anyway. Volume 3 is still definitely the best one. It had a large tournament which I am a huge fan of and the best climax. Volume 2 would be my next pick as the fights were top notch as always while still embarking on more of a plot. The third highest is the toughest pick as I go back and forth with them at times. I think I would actually go with Volume 5. Whether it is recency bias or volume 5 having more of a plot and a lot of epic scenes, I have to give it the edge here. Missed opportunities aside, they don’t take away what the show actually did right and it certainly still held up the proud standard of quality that RWBY stands for. Volume 1 is close behind. It’s still very nostalgic with the retro animation and Blake’s battle against Torchwick holds up really well. Finally we have Volume 4. A good volume, but one that could have certainly benefited from better pacing.
Overall, Now you see why I say that RWBY is the greatest show of all time. I don’t have to go over the soundtrack and animation again like in most reviews since I already touched upon it in each of the volume sections. They are absolutely top notch and it’s hard to imagine that it used to be more of a fan project. I’ll have a review for RWBY volume 6 when it finishes so you don’t have to worry about waiting for another 5 volumes before I churn one out. I’m definitely expecting big things from volume 6 and won’t be satisfied unless it is able to at least crack the top 3 from the volumes. At this point the action should be coming fast and hard with enough subplots and loose ends to keep the pacing quite frantic. Naturally in a show this long it’s hard to express everything about it, but I feel like I’ve gotten all of the major points. I definitely went from not knowing about the franchise to being obsessed with it in a short time. Ah well, only about 6 months until RWBY returns so that’s not so long. That’s not the end for my reviews on the franchise though. In the mean time, I’ll also be reviewing RWBY Chibi once the latest season ends and RWBY manga that should be coming out soon.