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 8s

We’re getting even closer to the end of the seasons now but surprisingly this batch may be more dialogue based than the last one. A lot of the volumes are still setting up the climax in this part so don’t expect a lot of big fights. Still, you can feel the payoff right around the corner and so of course that is something to think about as we rank the episodes below. So lets dive in!

9. Volume 4

This is definitely another lore type episode for Volume 4 as Qrow explains the situation to the team. We already knew most of this but it’s new knowledge for the team. I think some of this could have been off screen’d but ultimately it’s a lot of information that is good to have out in the open. In the Blake plot we start to see the White Fang making moves and Blake is forced to address this even though she initially just wanted peace. Blake was not my favorite character during this volume as she had a bit of a slump until Volume 5 but at least this was a step in the right direction. A necessary episode all in all but not the most exciting one so you can see why it didn’t rank much higher.

8. Volume 6

In Volume 6 we are getting closer to Atlas but the heroes are stopped by an old lady and two comic relief guards. I have to say that this plot always felt like a random thing to include just to slow the heroes down. None of the characters are all that endearing or likable which just hurts them the whole time. If they could have a fun scene to make you grin or something then that would be good but it can’t match the classic humor of the old days. Without a lot of strong plot elements to help it out, the episode could not get much higher.

7. Ice Queendom

Ice Queendom is in a similar situation to Volume 4 here. Sure, it’s good that the heroes are getting in a little deeper through the dream and learning more but it does feel a bit like they’re treading water by this point. Not much has really changed since the last episode to the point where it almost feels like this episode could have been merged into the last one. In a way I think I just miss the real world by this point as the dreamscape got old real quick. That being said you can tell that we’re getting close to the climax so I’m ready to see how this all pans out.

6. Volume 1

In this episode Jaune finally manages to overcome Cardin and stops the cycle of being bullied. The whole episode was a rough one for Jaune and the show did a good job of depicting how you can be surrounded by the strongest fighters in existence but if you don’t stand up for yourself then it’ll all be for naught. Jaune refused to ask for help at all during this adventure and that’s what had cost him for so long. He could be a bit annoying in that sense here but the ending is solid. Perhaps a bit cheesy but ultimately it was a well rounded episode with humor and even a little action. Cardin also made for an intense villain.

5. Volume 7

This isn’t an action heavy episode but it was nice seeing everyone be at the table to talk things out. Papa Schnee may be trying to take control of the situation but right now he does have the upper hand and does o effectively. In a way what he is saying does sound reasonable so that makes him a solid antagonist here. As always I think the characters are rather harsh to Whitley the whole time. He seriously doesn’t deserve a lot of what he gets here as it always seemed like he was actually rooting for Weiss and just had to be careful how he expressed it. The heroes just never really tried to understand his side of the story all that strongly.

4. Volume 2

The heroes are getting ready for their first big adventure! This episode mainly gets by on its solid humor which keeps it higher than you may expect. It was nice to see the debut of Zwei and Ruby even outsmarting Ozpin was impressive. While he was allowing himself to be manipulated, it did feel good that Ruby could feel like she had a mega win though and that’s what counts. This was also getting us started on the big mission that would begin the climax for Volume 2 so I’m ready for that. Coco and the others taking longer than expected to complete their mission would contrast well with Qrow finishing his mission ahead of time in Volume 3 to show just how skilled the pros were.

3. Volume 5

This episode finally had the main members of Team RWBY talk things out. It’s the first real downtime they’ve had together and of course Yang still has a big grudge with Blake for ditching them all this time. It makes for an emotional episode and in particular we really see how Weiss has grown. Gone are the days where she would get real excited and jump to conclusions. Now she is someone that is there for the others to lean on and gives the emotional speeches. The action part of the plot was with Blake and she actually did really well this time as she called in Sun and didn’t just try to handle everything alone.

It was a good moment for her character because it showed that she was actually willing to trust Sun this time and the lessons of friendship really stuck. It was also impressive to see her lay out one of the fighters with a single punch. Her physical strength gets a whole lot of credit in this volume and this was just the first instance of that. There would certainly be more where that came from. It was a very strong showing for Volume 5 and while Ghira may not be the most impressive fighter over there, it’s always nice to see Sun fighting. To date Volume 5 still has one of the stronger climaxes or it felt that way so I look forward to seeing how it stacks up with the other volumes in the rankings.

2. Volume 8

We get to see the talking Grimm attack the heroes here and it looks very impressive. Maybe a little too impressive in the sense that I thought Ruby and Blake should have looked way better in the fights this episode. I don’t buy Blake losing against a random acid Grimm and Ruby getting one shotted by this Grimm was a bit odd. Still, it was nice to see her rebound with the Silver Eyes afterwards. Weiss and Whitley finally made up as well. This was a very important episode and while we’re near the end of the season so much more happens in this volume that it’s hard to believe that we’re near the end. With Penny slowly turning to the dark side there was a lot of intrigue set up for next week.

1. Volume 3

Volume 3 is back to reclaim the crown! Not too surprising but it really was close. There is less action than volume 8 as Pyrrha mainly has to try and come to terms with what’s going on. Her talk with Jaune is good but of course the huge highlight for the episode is the cliffhanger. It was nice to see Ruby noticing that something was off and go to investigate. The music that plays when Mercury appears is exceptional and you can feel the dread rising in the air. This was still before the show had gone all the way into getting things really serious and dire so it still hits as a very powerful moment. I was not fully prepared for this back in the day. The episode really does a great job of mixing in humor, drama, and tension. From here on out all of the episodes are 10/10 quality so it’ll be hard to dethrone Volume 3 but of course the other volumes have big climaxes as well.

This is where the comparisons are really going to start getting extra fun so be sure to stay tuned! This has been a fun rankings event that is over halfway over but the best is yet to come. It’s safe to say that all shows want to end strong and RWBY has always accomplished this so now it will be time to see which one did it the best. There are going to be a lot of nonstop fights coming up soon that’s for sure.