Editorial

10 Things that need to happen in RWBY Volume 8


Volume 8 of RWBY is quickly approaching and that means it is almost time for us to witness some epic fights and plot threads. The series has continued to excel with each passing season. Personally Volume 3 is still my favorite one but 7 rose all the way up to my second favorite. The series has been on a steady uphill trend ever since Volume 5. 4 was a bit of a low point for the series with all of the exposition and lack of action but we’ve gone away from that pretty well. That said, Volume 8 can’t let its guard down and I expect it to still give me 100% effort with every scene. Here are 10 things that needs to happen with this upcoming volume.

1. Salem needs to have an onscreen fight scene

I’d like this to be done along with an onscreen invasion from her forces. If we were to suddenly timeskip away from this that would be a really awful decision.n I trust that the series won’t do this though. What I’m more concerned about is Salem actually having a fight. We’re 8 volumes in now, at this point we need a legitimate reason to fear her. A no holds barred fight scene with someone would be the perfect way to illustrate Salem’s power. She has a great design and based on the abilities that the two gods had I’m sure we can expect great things out of her. I’d place my bets on her either taking down Cinder or Ironwood in the next volume. Either fight would be pretty hype to see although Cinder would have more of an impact since she is so much stronger than Ironwood.

2. Finally get the full backstory for Summer

We’ve been teased with what happened to Summer for quite a while now. I think this is a good time for us to finally learn exactly what happened to her. It would be a good way to finish off Ozpin’s plot as well where he is always shady and nobody can trust him. By learning her past that should seal his final questionable moments away with ease. We’ll then have a leader that the team can rally behind although if I was team RWBY I still wouldn’t trust him. At this point Ruby has proven that she is more than capable of leading the team on her own.

3. It’s time for Raven to return.

While Raven’s return could spell the end of her character as I don’t see her living through many more fights, she needs to return at this point. I want to see her choose a side and then weigh in on the battles. She could make for a great third party like Ironwood if she chooses to fight for herself although I’m expecting her to aid the heroes. Salem taking Raven down would be a good way to build up her hype. I don’t see a Raven vs Cinder rematch and otherwise Raven should be able to easily defeat most of the other villains. Maiden abilities are on a league of their own after all with very few characters even being close.

4. 1 villain should be taken out of the picture

It’s fair to say that the series will still keep on going for a while from here on out. Supposedly the series will run for 12 volumes but that quote was a long time ago so things certainly could have changed. That being said, I think it’s about time we take down a villain. It seems like we haven’t had a major villain go down since Adam in Volume 6 and he was a third party. If we’re talking about one of the villains from Salem’s unit then that’s all the way back in Volume 3. Last volume missed its chance to take Watts out of the picture by arresting him but I think the heroes need to start whittling down the numbers. The fewer active members you have running around, the more we can focus on the final few big fights.

5. Time to get an update on Vale

Last we saw, Glenda was rebuilding the city after the destruction during Volume 3. It’s been a long time since then and she should have the place built up pretty well by now. In that case, it’s time for the crew to rejoin the battle. The heroes have made it clear that Atlas is really one of the last safe havens on the planet. If it goes down then humanity is really on the brink. It’ll take time to get there but it would be perfect to have the reinforcements appear near the end. Coco and her team are professionals so I’m sure they could deal some damage. If the heroes lose here that would make for some interesting plot points but I would like to see what Vale’s doing right about now.

6. Ironwood can’t do a 180

Ironwood’s made his controversial choice. He’s chosen to save Atlas and abandon the people beneath him. He believes there is no way to save everyone and is doing what he thinks is best, even if it’s taken him down a dark road. Now that he has made his choice, I don’t want to suddenly see him agree with Ruby and turn this whole thing around. It’s just too late for that, especially after shooting Oscar. Ironwood’s made his choice and for his character to have a proper ending he needs to stand by it and live with the consequences. He’s been a fantastic character throughout the series but last volume is really when he stood out. I am really looking forward to seeing what he does next and I’m hoping he gets a replacement arm so he can get a proper final fight.

7. Yang vs Neo rematch

Yang and Mercury need a proper rematch as well but they had a brief skirmish in volume 5 which will have to do. At this point I’m more interested in seeing her take on Neo. Neo was exceptionally powerful in all of her fights so far and has appeared to be pretty much untouchable. However, Yang’s grown far more skilled as time has went on. Now that she has her confidence back it would be an ideal time for these two to trade blows once more. If Yang were to win now I think that would be a pretty fair victory since she will be fighting a lot smarter now. I would be fine with either fighter winning. I’d say Neo has the edge but I could believe it either way.

8. Qrow needs to break out of jail and take the fight to the villains.

It’s no secret that Qrow’s had a very rough last few volumes. He got heavily nerfed in Volume 5, looked really bad in Volume 6, and was finally starting to do a little better last volume before everything went sideways. He did what he had to in the fight and I blame the leader of AceOps for everything that happened with Tyrian. While I’m not sure if we will really get a 4th Qrow vs Tyrian fight (We honestly don’t need one. I think almost any other matchup would be more interesting at this point) I’d like to see Qrow go on the attack. Maybe have him go right up to Salem and attack. Such a move may mean his end but he should be fighting with a vengeance at this point.

9. Make Jaune’s team relevant

Without Pyrrha around his team have gotten completely surpassed in every possible way against Team RWBY. None of them are all that powerful. Any member of RWBY would have a solid chance of taken down their entire team. Only Blake may have trouble and I still think she could probably pull it off. So whether it’s through a power up or teamwork, I need them to do something here. We’ve got a few plots to think about here. Jaune might want to do what he can to save Ruby so a team up could be fun. Ren’s been pretty mixed on the strategy the heroes are doing right now so him defecting to Ironwood could be interesting. Nora’s also trying to keep Ren with her so there could be a rift there soon. Pick a plot and then make it interesting.

10. No off screen fights

I’m sure the series learned its lesson from Volume 5 but I want to see all of these fights. You can skip skirmishes with the Grimm and all but otherwise I really want to see these characters mixing it up. Volume 8 should be the next Volume 3 in terms of how action packed it is. The writers said the whole volume takes place over the span of 2-3 days I believe so that hints that a lot is going on. The volume should be pretty nonstop with the intensity and cutting out a fight would wreck the flow.

So long as the volume has all 10 of these areas in play I don’t think we’ll be seeing any problems here. I’ve got some pretty high hopes for the volume and can’t wait til we’re finally in October. A lot is going to happen here and maybe we’ll even see the return of Adam. I didn’t include that as one of the top 10 things that needs to happen because odds are that it won’t, but personally I think that would be a good move. He’s still one of the most intimidating villains out there and has definitely earned his reputation.

Editorial

RWBY Volume 7 Song Rankings


It’s time to look at the songs from the new RWBY soundtrack that came out. In particular I am ranking the 9 new lyrical songs and won’t be counting the remixes from previous volumes. I’ll rank them from last to first as we see where they all stack up. The 1st and second place entries are quite easy and then after that is when it’s time for some serious thought. I can definitely say right now that the series continues to have an absolutely stellar soundtrack. You’d be hard pressed to find anything that even comes close to this in another title. This volume’s probably got one of the happiest overall soundtracks compared to the others I suppose reflecting the hope found here. I think the theme of the volume was supposed to be Hope unless I’m thinking of the last one. Either way that makes sense. All of the songs below can be found on Youtube or any other CD as well as for purchase online. I’ve attached a link next to the top ranked song where you can listen to them online.

9. Let’s Get Real

I have to say that the very beginning of this song feels like something out of Megaman. I like the quick techno strum there. After that this song slows down quite a bit though and definitely isn’t really my style. I like the overall aesthetic of the song but it’s not going to stop this one from bringing in the last spot on the list. Speed up the tempo and I think this song will rank a little higher though.

8. Celebrate

Well, we’ve definitely got another party tune showing up here. It’s definitely the kind of song you’d expect to hear at the disco. That said, it’s the kind of song that doesn’t sound as good outside of that context. It will be good for a play or two but next to the songs coming up it definitely can’t stack up well enough. When I’m celebrating I’ll probably be playing a song closer to the top 2 coming up. Still, with the more party feel of this soundtrack that should help for when playing the soundtrack at parties.

7. Brand New Day

This is probably one of the weakest of the group for me. It’s more loud than catchy. It’s going for more of a party feel but one that doesn’t gel as smoothly as the rest of the songs. This is one of the tunes that I wouldn’t really be listening to all that often. Still, it’s not as if it means the song’s that bad. It’s not able to keep up with the others but it’s still a pretty decent song in its own right.

6. Touch The Sky

This is definitely one of the happier songs we’ve got in RWBY. It shows that the team is finally back together and having a good time. That’s good because it’s been a little bit since they were able to just have fun. It’s got a nice beat to it. I don’t see this becoming one of the more popular songs down the road or one that I will have on loop for very long but it’s a solid inspirational song. You don’t want everything to be super rock….well I wouldn’t mind, but most people want some variety and this song does a good job of providing that.

5. Until The End

This is a very somber song. In some ways it may be the most somber one in the series because it never transitions into Rock the way that a lot of the others do. It’s just a song that doesn’t leave the heroes full of hope afterwards as things don’t look like they’re about to get better. Regardless I thought it was executed pretty well. I’m usually more of a fast paced song kind of guy but when it’s a sad song then that can absolutely work without a fast tempo.

4. Trust Love

It’s time for the opening of the Volume. My favorite intro of all time is still the very first one but the series has always been pretty good with these. I’d put this song in the top half of the new ones. It’s definitely very fast and also nostalgic to an extent because I’ve heard the song very often while watching the episodes. This is not one that you want to skip when starting the episodes.

3. Fear

This is definitely a pretty intense theme and one that’s fitting for Salem’s return. She’s only had two themes now but between this and Divide they’re definitely both incredible. It really shows how Salem gets into the heads of her opponents. One line is about “Who will you see in the dark when you’re all alone” and quite a few of the characters likely see Salem. It’s why betraying her would be pretty much unthinkable and why the heroes fear her so greatly. I am looking forward to seeing her live up to the hype in the next volume. At this point you can’t really be satisfied with anything less than her completely overwhelming the heroes. This is the perfect time for her to prove her power once and for all.

2. Hero

This is one song that I think loses a bit of the intensity from the full version. The opening lyrics are going for a very emotional/sad kind of tune. Still, once we get to the good part of the song it rocks on from start to finish. It was a great song and does a good job of depicting the self sacrifice Ironwood was able to go through to accomplish his mission. Being a hero is often a lot harder than it looks and is often not a glamorous task. You gotta be ready to not be very popular at times and it can be very easy to lose perspective and become like the villains you work on stopping.

1. War
Click here for the song
This is easily the best song and it’s not even close. I remember being shell shocked when it shows up in part because it shows up with the greatest fight in the entire series. I do wish we could have kept part of the intro music for that scene but I suppose it’s technically a different part of the OST for that. Either way it’s a powerful song about thinking someone was your friend and trusting them, only to be betrayed in the end. I know hero vs hero fights may get a lot of critiques, but that’s why I love the concept. Unlike a hero vs villain fight where you’re clearly meant to root for one team who is in the right, a matchup like this is interesting because both sides are doing what they believe is the correct decision.

In a logical sense AceOps has some points here. The heroes were already being overrun by a bunch of normal Grimm who were being summoned. Salem is on her way with an army many times larger than that. It seems unlikely that the heroes can last for long and they allegedly don’t have enough time to evacuate everyone either. Thus, their decision to leave and save who they can makes some sense. It also doesn’t help that Team RWBY’s leader burst into tears right when Salem showed up and mentioned her mother. There’s nothing more soul crushing for a team than to have their leader drop out just like that.

Of course Team RWBY is ultimately in the right here because you should never sacrifice anyone. If they die then at least they die together as opposed to just some people managing to survive this round. If you had to throw a lot of people away in order to survive then it’s just not worth it. The song talks about never trusting someone again and after being betrayed like that it would definitely be hard to make new friends. It takes a long time to trust someone but only an instant to lose that for good.

So, that’s definitely my top song and it concludes the rankings for Volume 7. I look forward to seeing what songs we get in the next volume since there are always some real All Stars in every volume. It’s going to be very hard to top this one though. Of course, there’s usually a song in every volume that makes me feel the same way. The series is just always ready to hit the next level.

Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

RWBY: Official Manga Anthology Review


It’s time to look at RWBY’s recent manga anthology. This one got 4 volumes, one for each of team RWBY. It’s definitely nice to see more RWBY material even if so far it hasn’t taken advantage of the manga format as well as it could have. The current ongoing RWBY manga has a lot of potential, but the original one was basically an anthology as well as it retold each character short. I’m not a huge fan of anthologies and part of the issue is how not much of a story can happen in those. This one has that issue as well along with some stories having good art while some do not. Ah well, I’ll still take what I can get.

Of course, I usually start off by talking about the plot, but that won’t work here. I’ll start with the artwork. As I mentioned, it really varies depending on the story. Some of them look quite good with nice character designs and details while others aren’t really all that solid. It makes for an up and down reading experience. Each volume is a good size though so there is space for quite a lot of content.

On the other hand, this is still RWBY. As a result the characters can hold their own story with ease. It’s just nice to see them around in more stories. Due to the limited length per episode it’s not as if the writers can show us a whole lot of bonus material in the show. That’s sort of the point of the current RWBY manga as it will allow us to see more of the characters than the show could. For example in Yang’s volume there is a story where she beats up on a bunch of fake Neo dolls to exact her revenge. Then Neo sees this and is quite disturbed.

If anything, I’d say that the series plays out like a RWBY Chibi episode. Think of all those shorts and then packing them into a manga. So there’s certainly nothing bad about the series. I definitely enjoyed reading all 4 volumes. They’re fun and make for solid reads. It’s also a decent way to get someone to check out the RWBY series if they haven’t seen the show yet. The volumes are all about character interactions after all.

As each character gets her own volume they each get a lot of screen time. Yang’s definitely still the best member but each of the 4 bring something to the table. With Weiss’ glyphs she could probably give Yang a good fight if she was trying. Meanwhile Blake and Ruby are also quite skilled so it’s not like they would lose very easily. I suppose if we had gotten another volume it would have finally been time for Jaune and his team to show their stuff. They show up in these volumes of course, but it’s different being a side character versus a lead.

On a side note, I definitely do like the artwork for the volume covers. They really stand out and have a lot of detail. If that’s how the art looked inside then this series would have been even better. The actual volumes are quite high quality and as I mentioned they are bigger than the average volume. As a result they feel a bit like an omnibus. It’s a style that I wouldn’t mind becoming the norm. It’s not big enough where the volume would be awkward to read, but big enough where it feels special.

Overall, The RWBY Anthology is good. It’s hard to really discuss it much due to the style of the manga though. The current ongoing will likely end up being the definitive RWBY series though since it has an ongoing story. It’s a shame that the ongoing’s art is also a little below average though. Maybe RWBY characters are just really hard to draw or something. It could be a while before those stories come out in America though so now it’s back to the waiting game. I don’t know when the RWBY comics are coming out, but maybe those will be close. I’m wondering if those will also adapt the show or if they go for something totally different. I’m hoping the latter as we don’t need two adaptions. Maybe have the comic writer take their own spin on the franchise. That’d be pretty cool.

Overall 7/10