Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes and Huntsmen, Part One Review

The RWBY reviews continue with the new movie! I had to buy this one immediately on day 1 because the hype was too real. After all these years RWBY was finally getting the movie it deserves. After completing the movie I can definitely confirm that it is a great title and hopefully this gets more people into the fandom. Automatically there are a lot of DC fans who will watch this one even though they haven’t seen RWBY and so it’s a good introduction there. I will say that it doesn’t quite feel like the movie budget but just seeing the characters is cool.

The movie starts off with Superman waking up in a different world and for some reason he’s a teenager. He remembers fighting someone but can’t remember anything beyond that. He’s quickly saved from danger by a pair of superheroines known as Ruby and Yang who defeat the Grim monsters in the area. There is something off about their world too though as the Grimm are now able to absorb all dust related abilities which means that Weiss and Blake are going to have a tough time but it won’t affect Yang and Ruby quite as much once they adapt. Superman knows that he needs to find the rest of the League and quickly but why are everyone’s memories off?

Now amnesia is not exactly my favorite trope. I’d always choose to have the crossover with both verses at their peak in terms of strength and ability but hey at least it is the real characters as opposed to the comics which went in a very different direction. Mainly part 1 is about solving the mystery of why everyone’s memories are spotty and why things just don’t line up. For example why are all of the RWBY characters in their volume 1 outfits yet they have things that they shouldn’t yet. (Ex: Yang’s metallic arm) I remember people pointing that out immediately in the trailer which helped to build up the suspense of what was going on here. The mystery is very engaging and of course you’ll have a lot of theories right off the bat. They’re trapped in a dream, a simulation, time travel’s at work, visual illusion, just an AU, etc. The reveal definitely works pretty well with this in mind.

Now this is still a part 1 so don’t expect the full answers to be revealed. I won’t say where this takes place in the RWBY series yet but from the ending you can narrow it down to the volume and come pretty close to the exact episode that makes the most sense. If the ending just went on for an extra minute or two that would have been great to confirm exactly where the cast is. I’m also really intrigued on who the big villain for part 2 will be. I’ve got really high hopes for that one and so I hope part 2 comes out soon. My understanding is that both parts were animated back to back in the middle of Volume 9’s production so it should already be all done. Summer release would be nice as opposed to waiting for the Fall.

So lets jump onto the good stuff first. It’s super nostalgic to see Ruby and the gang in their original forms dealing with classic Grimm. It’s a very nostalgic return to form for their classic days and the environments look very clear. We get to see a lot of interactions between the cast in a fun setting that wouldn’t really be possible currently with how high the stakes are. It’s always nice to see the characters have some downtime to just talk and this movie has a lot of that with the various interactions.

I also liked the emphasis on using dust again since it’s been a while. In the main series the heroes always use dust like Weiss with her rapier, Raven’s attacks, etc. but it’s all just used silently and it’s nice to discuss the specifics of dust some more. Beyond it being an energy source we’ve never gone too far into it and you always wonder what the upper limits are. In theory you figure more fighters should be able to make super powered weapons powered by dust to fight the Grimm. Perhaps they wouldn’t be as advanced as a huntress but it would still be very useful in war efforts.

The crossover aspect itself is great as well of course. Seeing the heroes interact was fun and Team Jaune taking on the Justice League’s B team was fun. The fact that they basically won that fight was also excellent. While Team RWBY may typically overshadow them, it’s important to remember that this team is still very skilled and has a lot of powerhouses on their side. They aren’t the type of fighters to just roll over and take a loss. By this point in the series they are full fledged hunters and huntresses after all.

There is a ton of action here as well so if you missed that in volume 9, there is no shortage here. Now granted I would have liked more human type fights like the earlier battle I mentioned. Most of it is against the Grimm and since the monsters can barely fight back it’s not like you can have as much fun with the choreography. Of course you see all of the super attacks being used but when things are too one sided it just won’t have the same impact as a true fight. In a power levels sense I also have some doubts on how well they do against the larger Grimm but I think given the situation and context I can overlook those power level moments because it’s not quite as if it happened in a normal setting. Otherwise I thought the power levels were good and the RWBY verse looks real impressive here. They have homefield advantage of course but it still counts. (I hope Part 2 takes place in DC’s world because that would make a lot of sense as a parallel although given that we’re probably sticking to the RWBY animation style, maybe they’ll just keep home court. It would also be interesting if the League just doesn’t appear and part 2 is purely RWBY but that would be an odd choice given the title)

Now for the animation, it’s classic RWBY style so it looks great. I would just say there is a bit of a noticeable downgrade compared to the RWBY show which is a bit ironic. Typically you expect the movie to blow the show away after all but that’s not what happened this time. It’s very clear and the attacks look good but the animation itself is a bit choppy. Now from what I heard, this happened fairly last second as between episodes 7 and 8 in production the animators were all pulled off of the show to work on Justice League and that’s why the volume was pushed back. Not sure how much of this was confirmed but if they did have to rush through the two movies to get back to the show then it does make sense that this one’s a bit choppier.

Still, even a weaker RWBY style is still great and I enjoyed the visuals. The DC character designs were more of a miss for me but that’s not strictly speaking animation. It feels like they were trying too hard to make the League look like RWBY characters and they come across more like NPCs or fanfic characters. Batman’s design is easily the weakest although Flash would be in second there. They just don’t look much like the characters and I think they really could have done a better job there. Reminds me of when I would create a character in Soul Caliber and you could see the resemblance but it just wasn’t right.

The film is fairly short but makes the most of every moment so you do feel like this was a complete adventure at all times. The heroes are always rushing from place to place and with how often you switch from plot to plot, it never reaches a slow point. That’s probably one of the most impressive parts of the movie really. The amount of content it covers is impressive and whenever we’d get a flash into the RWBY memories that was a lot of fun. We even see a new angle to the big Adam scene from Volume 5 which was intense. No matter what that guy always find a way to return.

The RWBY characters are mainly all in character as you’d expect so I’ll keep their sections brief. There really isn’t much to talk about in terms of Yang and Blake. They go in and do their job as needed. Yang’s maybe a bit overprotective of Blake the whole time which I feel is retroactively setting things up for volume 9 unless the writers are trying to acknowledge Blake as the weakest but otherwise the film does her a lot of justice. This is easily the most powerful Blake has looked in years and I was glad to see it.

Ruby is struggling to be an effective leader here as everyone shouts her down and holds her back but ultimately she proves that she has the right stuff. She was good when it counts. Meanwhile Weiss showed off her expertise in using computers which was cool and in general she was in command of the situation. I would actually say she looks the best from all the RWBY characters. Jaune is in competition for that title though as he helps out Green Lantern quite a lot in this one. He gives her multiple pep talks and shows her what it means to be brave even when you don’t have powers. He was just really patient the whole time and very genuine. You can see why he is a good leader.

Ren looks pretty bad the whole time though. He gets jealous about Nora way too quickly to the point where he is always bickering with Cyborg. They could have toned that down somewhat as he is usually supposed to be the emotionless one so why he is blowing a fuse in every other scene? It just didn’t feel like the usual him at all. Meanwhile Nora was definitely more on the aggressive side here and taking things personal. Definitely not the really chill and goofy Nora you may expect but at least she does a ton of damage in every fight so you can cut her some slack.

On the DC side of things, Superman looks solid. He’s a natural leader as always and is someone you can count on. He gets a lot of great scenes and consistently thinks things through before making a move. Then you have Batman who in comparison is one of the worst members here. (Not the worst though, that’s coming up) Now in part I would say the voice is to blame a bit as he just doesn’t sound like any version of Batman and lacks the power or charisma behind him. But most of it is just how he’s written here. He’s a bit sloppier, has no prep time, and tends to get humiliated a lot. He’s lacking in confidence and apparently has always wished he could have powers. He gets outbrained by Weiss in the computer room and just wasn’t the decisive, capable vigilante that we’ve always known. This guy is truly Batman in name only. They really should have just kept him as being super in control the whole time around and that would have went over perfectly.

He may have stolen the show a bit but that’s what Batman does so it would have been worth it. Not much to say about Vixen, I’d say she seemed in character and was about what I expected. She has a good amount of confidence and is always ready to fight which is good. Then you have the Flash who is definitely on the goofier side but his character is ultimately handled well and the movie even has a great reason for why with his speed he isn’t just ending the movie in one second. Leave it to RWBY to come up with a solid way and not let this turn into the usual power level hax that happens with the Flash.

Cyborg definitely looks rather disgraceful here though and even worse than Batman. Yes this guy is the worst. He yells at Ruby for basically no reason and I was really hoping Yang or someone would slug him at some point. Sure he apologizes and says he was stressed out but really? Eh I didn’t think that was a great excuse. Then he also does seem to be overtly flirting with Nora at times which seems very much like a wrong place kind of moment. They’re trying to save the world right now so there’s no time for that. Yeah this was definitely not his best moment.

So in some ways I do think the writing could have been a little better to really maximize the effectiveness of the crossover. With the characters not being fully in character, it makes the meetup not work quite as well as it could have. I’d also have liked more in-fighting but that’s a fairly small thing. Either way this is still a great film and one I would definitely recommend checking out. It also holds up well as a stand alone film so you don’t have to worry about watching the sequel per say. Watching it as soon as possible is good to help with the sales and views then maybe we can keep getting more films in the future. Crossovers with the Teen Titans, Avengers, TMNT, and more would all work really well. The possibilities are endless to be honest.

Overall, It’s really nice seeing RWBY in a movie. They deserve a theatrical movie one of these days to really show off the budget but right now this will definitely work. It has been fun going on this little RWBY review marathon but all things must come to an end and unfortunately there probably aren’t going to be many other RWBY reviews for a while because there aren’t many other products out right now. Hopefully that will change sooner than later but in the meantime you need to enjoy this adventure while you can. It has a lot of replay value because of all the fights so you can enjoy watching it a lot.

Overall 8/10

RWBY: Ice Queendom Review

It’s been quite a while since this show aired. I ended up reviewing every episode of the show as it came out which is the first time I ever did that but ultimately I never actually reviewed it in its entirety. With volume 9 finished, now is a good time to check that out. I’ll even post my episode reviews below and then I’ll wrap the whole thing up. Basically Ice Queendom is the weakest RWBY show so I’ll get that out of the way first. It has some issues that the main show doesn’t have and ends up not pushing the anime medium to its limit. The show feels low budget and like an abridged version of the real thing. It hopefully brought some new people into the fandom but otherwise you’re better off just watching the original. Of course a copy can not beat the greatness of the original but I will say that it’s still a pretty good show, it’s just not up to the RWBY standard.

Episode 1

“The visuals were fantastic and it definitely moves through a good amount of material by knocking out 2 of the specials and the first episode plus some material from a volume 4 special. The fights look great as Ruby takes down some goons and Blake destroys a bunch of mechs. A lot of effort went into this one and at least at this point and time you can really feel the high budget effort behind this. I would also say it does work well as someone’s introduction to the series. You quickly get the plot and learn about the characters so that’s a win/win. I was quite satisfied here. If I am recommending someone to the series I would actually show them this episode first and then transition over to volume 1 from where this one left off. If episode 2 is as strong then I may do the same for that one.”

Episode 2

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

Episode 3

“Naturally Ice Queendom has a lot going on here as it wraps volume 1 up but makes the very unfortunate choice of cutting out the fight at the docks. I think they definitely should have kept that in but at least we did get the fight between Weiss and the Grimm which was really solid. The animation really shone during that part and this episode had a lot of good development for the characters. The cliffhanger was also really epic. We’re getting into the original plot now so I’m definitely hyped to see how that plays out. Ice Queendom is off to a fast start and has been keeping up rather well so far. “

Episode 4

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

Episode 5

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

Episode 6

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

Episode 7

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

Episode 8

“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.”

Episode 9

“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!”

Episode 10

“Ice Queendom is getting closer to the end now as we begin the big Blake vs Weiss fight. This episode spends half of its time showing us what led to Blake embracing the powers of darkness and then the second half continues us from where it left off. It’s definitely a very risky plan and one that I’m not a fan of since letting yourself be controlled can really not end well. I’d say just going up there and winning in fisticuffs would be the best way. Try a sneak attack to get the rapier away from Weiss or something like that. Beyond that I enjoyed our classic divide and conquer approach as each fighter will be going up against a different opponent. With better animation I dare say this could really be a top contender but I did enjoy the Weiss and Blake clashes regardless. Seeing Weiss immediately realize that something was up with Blake was also nice to show that she isn’t totally gone yet.”

Episode 11

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

Episode 12

“Ice Queendom has been a fun ride and I’ll definitely have a full review up for it soon. In the meantime this works really well as an epilogue episode. A chance to just see the characters interacting and now that they have all had a lot of character development, they’re the best friends you remember. The series really nailed the characters for Blake and Weiss in particular and why they are so great. Both are usually considered to have the most development from the main group and it’s nice to see how they’ve changed. Even the little things like Weiss waiting for Blake afterwards so they could have one last talk and reaffirm how they will change the world was great.”

All right so from the episode reviews you can see how things started out on an excellent note with the volume 1 recap but then the show quickly lost some steam in the original plot. That’s pretty much how I would frame it. The volume 1 adaption was definitely a bit rushed but it was great seeing all of the iconic moments again. The only big miss here was completely cutting out the Torchwick fight at the climax of the volume. That would have been great to have seen in anime format instead of then jumping into the original story. The original story has an interesting premise.

Basically there is a nightmare Grimm that is ridiculously overpowered and ensnares Weiss. The other characters jump into save her along with Jaune but once inside they find out that this won’t be easy. Basically the entire world is in her mind but a twisted version of it and to get to her they have to defeat a lot of other obstacles like statues and such. Additionally once they get to Weiss she is quite powerful and won’t turn good unless they can destroy the Grimm behind her. Make any kind of contact with the Grimm and you too will be corrupted though. So dodging it won’t be an easy endeavor.

Where the show fumbles a bit is that the heroes try over and over to save her and fail multiple times. This causes the heroes to fall out of the dream and then re-enter so you see the same things over and over again. Once when Ruby lands, once when the team lands, and then once for Jaune. It feels like a way to save on the animation budget at times to be honest and the show unfortunately looks very low budget. Sometimes the fights barely have any animation. It will randomly change to CGI once in a while too and so nothing is very streamlined. The show looks solid during the first episodes for the volume 1 recap and then in episode 11 but that’s about it.

One of the most disappointing parts was when they set up the Weiss vs Ruby fight but then in the next episode it was done as lazily as possible. This happens quite a few times and it’s too bad because you were really looking forward to these battles. For example you have Weiss vs the rest of Team RWBY and there are no memorable shots there. Then you have Weiss going up against Blake for a few episodes and only one really had the good animation. The others were mostly them just yelling the same things at each other. The dialogue could get awfully repetitive as Weiss yells how the Faunus are destroying everything and Blake says that she will liberate them. We get this stalemate of sorts for a while.

It was fun to see a mind controlled Weiss figure out that Blake was mind controlled and swear to save her. I guess even when you’re not in your right mind you know when someone else isn’t either. Now I do want to underscore that the animation can be good at some times but it is rare and very scattered. This is a show that could have used a lot more time in the oven to really hammer everything out and deliver a more complete product. Trust me when I say that doing this would have absolutely been the right way to go about it. Because with top tier animation this would have worked so much more.

I did enjoy the soundtrack quite a lot though. It was different from the average RWBY title for sure but it worked well. Realm is probably the standout song from the ost. It plays a few times and always to great effect. There was another really solid lyrical song as well. The only one that didn’t really work well for me though was the opening but it’s not bad. I just like one part of it a whole lot and the rest is just okay. Still not bad though and while the soundtrack is limited, each tune in the episode ost are solid. You’ll definitely have a good time with the music, no doubt about that.

The show’s original characters don’t get to do much though so you don’t get much of an opinion on them. First up is Shion but I couldn’t tell you anything about that character’s personality or anything really. He’s mainly just a means of explaining the plot and the new Grimm but that’s about it. Likewise the new Grimm is basically just a mindless monster to be defeated so there isn’t a ton to discuss on that front either. At the end of the day most of the discussion will naturally end up being about the existing characters instead.

Weiss gets the most to do here and I’d say her character portrayal is on point. At first she comes across as a bit of a jerk and then tries to play nice with her teammates. In the main show people often mention how she seemed to change a bit too soon and so this show actually addresses that. Basically she was just acting the part of the nice teammate but she didn’t truly mean it. So by going into her dream they were able to have a true heart to heart talk and get to the bottom of this. I thought that was really a great way to use this nightmare bug. Now Weiss could be changed inside and out as opposed to just talking the part and that’s really the best kind of change. Weiss puts up a lot of resistance subconsciously with all of the monsters and such but she herself is trying her best. It was a really fun look into her psyche.

Likewise her whole issue with the Faunus and Blake. I think the premise was a little better than the execution there but the two of them being able to just talk things out was really solid but then when it didn’t work, going into a fight was on point. Sometimes you do need to end up talking with your fists a bit even if it’s not actually the final answer. It’s the driving force that allows you to connect at least. Blake’s new super form was also a lot of fun, I liked the design as there was a lot of inspiration from Adam.

This also led to the climax which actually was excellent. The budget went into this fight as they all fought evil Blake and really got to show off their abilities. It was a true team effort and you love to see it. The fight with the Grimm itself was also solid I’d say. Whenever RWBY is fighting as a team it’s always great to see, they complement each other well with the fighting skills and you get the feeling that if they did this more often the villains really wouldn’t stand a chance. Fortunately for them RWBY is usually split up for plot reasons.

I still can’t get over the fact that the show finally got its full anime treatment. Yes it may not have been quite as high budget as I would have liked but it’s still cool. I also think you really could show someone the first two episodes and then cut to volume 1 to finish it off. I would say the first 3 and then skip volume 1 but it’s rough to miss out on the Torchwick battle because he would go on to become such a major character later on. You really need to see him fight here so you can really understand just what a big threat he was. Ice Queendom’s power levels do get a bit wonky though so you’ll need to keep that in mind. There were a few times where I felt like the heroes should have had the decisive edge by a mile and it just didn’t happen. The show could have just been a few episodes long imo but they had to stretch things a bit.

In terms of characters, well they’re all in character so it works out. Ruby is still a good leader here and while Weiss’ insults may really cut her to the core, she always stands back up and keeps going. Her determination really comes through very strong here. Weiss has a masterful level of depth to her here and is executed perfectly. Yang may come off as a bit meaner than usual with all her shots at Weiss but I like how she always speaks her mind. She still comes through as the power hitter and Blake conquers her fears to allow herself to be taken over all to save Weiss. That’s a lot of dedication right there and so she gets a big thumbs up as well.

As a sidenote, I really liked their winter designs in general. The cold weather type outfits worked well and I always like when characters actually do change their attire based on the weather. Weiss and Blake both have really cool evil forms as well. The designers really held nothing back here and it ended up working out really well. I may take my shots at the animation but the art itself was great so the show always looks really good in the still images. It’s one that will hold up and ultimately I still do really want a season 2. Maybe lets just re-adapt the whole show this time and not bother with an original plot until it’s caught up. Then I can get to see volume 3 and all the tourney battles in the anime style.

Overall, RWBY: Ice Queendom is a fun side adventure. I think they should have planned things out a little better so that the episodes weren’t repetitive though. There’s really a lot of ways you could have done this like make Weiss’ dream world change completely each time or use more check points so it’s different. I think a little less repetition would have just gone a long way here and then you could focus on the story more. It may not match up to the classic RWBY adventures but those are all star titles which surpass the very medium so that’s probably not a super fair comparison. On its own this is still a great title either way and one that I would recommend checking out. So if you want more RWBY content, well you’ve come to the right place.

Overall 8/10

RWBY Volume 9 Review

All right this is going to be a long review so strap in! The greatest show of all time has finally returned for season 9 after so many years. I’d been eagerly awaiting the return and the company’s gone through a lot in the meantime so right now we don’t really know if Volume 10 is coming or not. Everything seems up in the air and if it were to all end here then I would still be satisfied because 9 seasons of content is incredible but of course I will be eagerly awaiting Volume 10. It’s one of those things I can never lose hope on because there’s always a chance and with the amount of buzz the show gets it feels crazy to put it on hold. We’ll get that season 10, but hopefully sooner than later.

Volume 8 ended with the main characters falling through the hole into the ever after. Fortunately they all meet up with each other very quickly so the gang’s still together but it’s not under the best of circumstances. Ruby is feeling depressed after the heroes lost to Salem’s forces yet again and this time the body count was very real. This world is really trippy and every time they try to leave they just seem to be further and further away. It all seems to be following a book that the main characters read when they were kids so they can at least predict some events but their presence as well as Neo’s is already changing things up. Can the heroes defeat her and escape? Also, where is Jaune?

For a big show like this it’s almost hard to know where to start. The volume is a bit shorter than the others since it’s only 10 episodes and they’re all fairly short as it is but because this is RWBY there is a ton to unpack. I’ll probably keep this review fairly scattered as I just type each aspect as I think of it and we’ll go from there. First to get this out of the way, to an extent this volume was considered by some to potentially be a filler season since it was planned out from way before the main plot even started and the mini volume format that the writers would refer to it as made people feel like it was a side adventure. By and large that probably is true. There are some developments here to be sure but at the same time it can feel a bit like Capsule Monsters or Fast Forward in that it’s sort of a break from the main story. There’s no Salem or Cinder here and the heroes aren’t fighting the Grimm. The Grimm don’t even appear.

Think of this as the heroes getting isekai’d into a whole different world for one season. Of course unlike other spinoff adventures they won’t be losing their memories or anything. Their development will be sticking with them for the future sagas. Aside from Weiss who was already perfectly sound going into this world, the other 3 do change and adapt from their experiences here. Jaune and Neo have quite a lot of character development as well. So in a literal sense the season isn’t filler because things did happen. At the same time it is a breather season I would say since it’s not super important to the grand story. On a RWBY binge re-watch if the series ever does end, you could basically skip this volume or jump to the final episode to enjoy the fights. Of course it’s still a great watch on its own so no need for skipping.

Now as this is going to be a deep look through at the series you should be warned that there will be advanced spoilers here. Tread carefully and if you haven’t seen the season yet then I highly recommend changing that first. Trust me you want to go into this fresh because that just makes for the best viewing experience. A show like RWBY has so much replay value that you will keep on watching anyway but it’s still nice not to be spoiled. Then when you’re watching the battle song in the final episode on loop over and over again you will always remember your first experience with it.

First lets talk about Ruby as she gets a lot of focus here. She’s coming off of 2 of her best volumes in the series as she led her team to a decisive victory over the Ace Ops and nearly took down Neo if not for Cinder getting her from behind after that. Well, unfortunately this is her worst volume by far and it’s not even close. Basically Ruby has taken the loss very hard and completely doubts herself as a leader now. Her friends keep trying to ask her what’s wrong and see what’s going on but Ruby pushes them away and ultimately blows up.

My main issue with this is while it’s portrayed as if she was ignored, the characters made every effort to talk to her. It was Ruby who actively pushed them away so I wouldn’t say that they could be blamed for anything at this point. Ruby blowing up at them was just a big L for her and she doesn’t come off very well for just about the entire season. Ultimately this leads to her getting bullied by Neo and ultimately choosing to drink the poison tea and destroy herself. Now, whenever a show deals with taking your own life, that’s a pretty big thing. It’s a huge decision and always the wrong one so a show has to make sure to show this.

The main controversy among this season was how this was handled. After all Rooster Teeth already has a bit of a dicey streak with this since Gen Lock and to a lesser extent, Penny convincing Jaune to destroy her in the last volume. I do think it was the wrong choice to have Ruby do this as well here because that’s just not who she is. She always has some hope and losing it all like this may have been to show how she’s been broken down but it goes too far. I would say the other aspect of this that doesn’t work are the non reactions of her friends and sister in Yang. When Ruby drinks the cup, none of them make a move to stop her, yell or do much of anything. It’s like they were all stunned into silence.

Now you can write this up as a momentary freeze but in the next episodes they are completely over this. They tell the cat that Ruby has to choose for herself what to do here, how she might be a different person, etc. The reactions are so bizarre, they are not being proactive about anything and don’t seem nearly as worried as they should be. Yes in this world death means instant reincarnation so she won’t be gone for good but based on what they have seen, Ruby herself would still be “dead” as her new form wouldn’t have her memories. Look at the paper pleasers for example. So for all intents and purposes Ruby really would be dead and so I don’t understand how nonchalant they are.

I feel like the show got confused midway on exactly what kind of symbology they were going for here. Within the show’s context none of this made any sense considering that Ruby just chose to destroy herself. That absolutely should have shaken up the cast a whole lot no matter how strong they are. Certainly they shouldn’t be grinning in a scene right afterwards. I had similar issues with the Paper Pleasers plot. Basically they are a suicidal cult that wants to destroy themselves because they feel they have succeeded in their mission a long time ago.

In this world once you have completed your mission then you are empty and need to ascend to get a new one. The problem is that this is still death since they don’t retain their memories or experiences and so Jaune tries to stop them. Unfortunately it is portrayed as a bad thing as he should have let them go off to their deaths. I definitely can’t get behind that one either and it was annoying how Team RWBY was so okay with this. Ruby in particular had no sympathy for Jaune at all. Have I mentioned how this is her worst portrayal in the franchise? Yeah it was definitely rough for a while there. Death in general seems to carry less weight than it should. At one point Team RWBY run off when the Jabberwockers appear and leave a whole village to die. Each and every one of them are murdered and we hear the sounds as they left.

At the end of the series Blake asks if they actually helped at all or if they just made things worse and you have to assume the latter to be honest. The heroes left a trail of death and destruction everywhere they went. They destroyed two villages, took down the king, and now the kingdom has no more of the original creatures like the Jabberwockers and the Cat. Not all of that was directly their fault but you’d be hard pressed to say that they really made the world a better place.

Now I am still ready for Ruby to bounce back because she finally goes back to herself in the final episode. Now she is the Ruby that we all know and love. In that sense her character arc sort of just flipped back to her being really confident like in volumes 7 and 8 once more but we can assume with this arc over that she won’t have any more doubts in the future. She also seems more powerful now but it’s hard to scale until we see her back in the real world. Ultimately her arc was filler you could say as it basically reset to where she started but I was glad that we got to finally see her smiling and having a good time again. Her final fight is absolutely the highlight of the whole volume and I’m ready to see her take on Salem. Plus now that she’ll be in a world of Grimm again she can finally use her silver eyes. I get that part of the point of this volume was to take a break from the Salem plot but I still miss Ruby’s cool silver powers. We still need to find out how any Grimm will ever be a threat again since Ruby can one-shot almost all of them at this point so Salem needs to think of something quickly.

Yang looks great here as you would expect. She’s always ready for a good fight and I would say that she has relaxed a bit more now. She’s back to making a lot of puns and just grinning all the time. For a while Yang had always been the heart of the team and kept the atmosphere lighter but she did get a bit more serious in the last volumes. I think this was a chance for her to reset in a way as well and it was a welcome change. She is still the power hitter of the group and does well in all of the fights. The heroes would definitely be lost without her.

Then we have Blake who has unfortunately been flanderized a little bit. She really takes the role of being the nervous member of the group who can’t stand up to Ruby anymore and is the only one to have some self doubt in the final episode. The writers took great care for her to basically not land any real blows in every fight outside of the chess battle and she always ends up being support. It’s fine to be a support fighter but she was one of the stronger fighters back in the day so I’d like to see that return. Blake is still a good character but right now she’s not keeping pace with the other 3 at all and that needs to change.

As for Weiss, I was pleased at just how confident she was. See, Weiss has already been through her character arcs so before the volume started I was talking about how nothing should get to her here. The villain mind games just won’t work at this point and sure enough, they don’t. This was the best attention to detail in the series as Weiss basically tries to keep everyone together. She does act a bit goofier at times which did feel a bit out of character but my headcanon will just be that she is trying to keep the atmosphere lighter since she sees how Ruby is feeling down. Might not be the sharpest theory but at least it works as an explanation. I can buy into it at least. She also finally uses her rapier a bit more here rather than relying exclusively on summons and I appreciated that. With her glyphs she has the potential to be one of the most powerful fighters so lets get back into that.

Jaune gets a big role here as well. He’s been a consistently solid character throughout the series and has had several character arcs. From the characters you can make a very strong case for him enduring the most amount of trauma. Yes, even more than Ruby and Blake I would say. The guy had to watch the girl he loved run off to her death and then he was pressured into murdering another one of his friends. He’s always been powerless to protect those around him and even started to get suicidal in volume 5 with how he kept charging Cinder. He finally got into a good headspace in volume 8 and then falling into the Everafter and being alone for years broke him again. The guy just can’t catch a break but whatever happens he tries his best.

The fact that he lasted for so long on his own in a strange planet shows just how resourceful he was. That’s why it was a shame when RWBY didn’t back him up. Still, he kept on trying to be the great hero and this is absolutely a highlight volume for him. I would have preferred that he stayed in his grown up form in the present since the design was also so good but I guess this is the end of the road for that. Right now he has a lot of experience though so I hope that is directly shown in the next volumes. He has grown into truly being an excellent leader and will be able to make a difference. The volume really nailed his character from start to finish.

Okay it’s time to talk about Neo and she is the character that the volume fumbled the most. So what do we really know about Neo beyond what we see in the novels? Well, she wants revenge on Ruby for murdering Torchwick and will want revenge on Cinder for being portrayed at the very end of volume 8. We need to remember that originally Neo intended to murder Cinder for Torchwick’s death but the villain told Neo that it was Ruby’s fault. So now that Cinder has betrayed her maybe Neo will double think this? She doesn’t and just goes after Ruby but surely after that she would try to get Cinder right? Well that’s where the issues come in.

When Neo successfully destroys Ruby, she suddenly goes all empty. Basically her purpose was fulfilled so she is an empty shell. That seems to be what the show was driving at and it makes no sense because she still needs to murder Cinder. Her purpose is hardly completed, there’s a lot left to go in her adventure. That was the first warning sign here. Alternately you could say that she suddenly regretted this and thought that murdering someone was going too far but that makes even less sense for such a ruthless calculating villain. Neo was just completely out of character here and so she went from being one of the most powerful, epic villains imaginable to being someone who was just left by the wayside. Even the way her character arc ends was not satisfying at all as she just jumps off to die too and be reborn as something else. Unless she chooses herself like Ruby did, she’ll lose her memories now and that would be annoying.

The show never explained why her powers completely evolved and changed either. Sure, Semblance evolution is a thing but it’s something you need to actually work at. She just got a bunch of new powers and used them immediately. For example her illusions can now talk and they seem to have the original’s memories because she uses some illusions that she couldn’t possibly know about. Penny dying twice for example. It’s all to break Ruby so these characters had to show up but logically it makes no sense that she would know the inner dynamics of exactly how they would break Ruby. That’s really my issue here.

At least she still looks powerful but we don’t get to really see her fight before getting possessed and I wanted to see how the team would fare against normal Neo. That would have really been good to see since I figure she can probably still handle the whole team to an extent. Fans of the Jabberwocker should not be too pleased either. The monster starts off by losing against Team RWBY rather handily and then getting instantly murdered by Neo. The rest of the show they are just clones of Neo’s and that’s not the most impressive way to appear. Cool design but the character sort of got misused a bit.

Then we have the curious cat and he was a lot of fun. He’s the kind of guy who will trick you so you always have to be on your guard in every conversation. He is playing the long game and does a good job of getting the characters to trust him so they can be manipulated. As a villain he also works well and I definitely liked his true form. Automatically I would say he’s probably a top 10 villain in the show and that’s good considering how many there are. Even to the end he was talking tough and I loved how he called the humans weak and insignificent even as they had just beaten him up. Sometimes you have to double down like that. He also made for some of the most intense visuals in the show.

Finally Alyx who was the main character of the book gets a decent role in the lore. At first she wasn’t the nicest person but gradually grew nicer. It’s a classic character arc but they try to keep you off balance with some twists and almost twists. I don’t think she adds a lot to the adventure but she does help to give Jaune even more trauma by the end so he’s not going to run out of that any time soon. The show also heavily implied that she ended up being reborn as the metal crafter although I think that’s a rough fate since it feels like you would be bored for a very long time in that role. You rarely have people to talk too.

The gang also meet a little mouse named Little. She’s a bit scattered all the time and tends to sleep a lot but means well. I was expecting them to reverse the death for a while there like it was just an illusion but ultimately Neo really did get the better of her. Little will likely never show up again in her new super form but if she ever returns that could be interesting. Perhaps Little will even have some fighting ability now.

Now the volume did decide to finally go through with the very controversial ship of Yang and Blake getting together. Long had I dreaded this day but the writers have basically been promising this for years now. A good chunk of their scenes are used for setting this up and general flirting the whole time. So much for Yang’s personality being the flirty one for a while there and Blake’s connection with Sun. Both have been squashed due to popular demand. It was just a matter of time until this happened but it was still unfortunate since they were such good friends and shows don’t need to go there like this. I know they’re now saying this was planned from the very beginning..but I have doubts. We’ll see if they can keep their personalities and stay strong or if this will become their personality and Blake will continue to shrink in fear at every danger so Yang can save her.

I would say the best non action scene in the volume was when the members of Team RWBY met their younger selves. It was great to see the old designs from back in the day and how each character has really changed. As expected Weiss really destroyed her previous version verbally while Ruby got completely devastated since the old her was so confident. The contrasts were really good and of course the art was excellent as always. The show really knows how to make every scene really pop out at you. In general of course the dialogue in the volume is very strong and it helps to make up for the lack of action but this was the stand out scene for me.

Of course the end of the volume gets you hyped for volume 10. The show seemed to be trying not to set up too much of a direct cliffhanger in case it isn’t renewed though like not having any kind of post credits scene this time. That was too bad since I always like a good cliffhanger but at least we still have a bit to theorize on. The last show showed that Atlas has arrived in Vacquo and somehow Amity Arena is back in operation. So the implication is that the distress signal Ruby sent out in volume 8 actually did work and the kingdoms sent backup. It’s a bit funny how the instant the heroes leave things start looking up again.

Of course the portal was set up to send Team RWBY to when they were needed as opposed to where so it could be any kind of timeskip. I’d assume maybe a few weeks or months but nothing too drastic. Anything longer would also be dicey since you’d assume humanity would be wiped out already. Salem and her forces should be having a field day without the main crew there after all. It’s why I can’t wait for volume 10 so we can see what’s been going on. The side story is all well and good but I am absolutely ready to jump back into the action here.

This was the first volume where Jeff would not be doing the music along with Casey and you can feel it as the volume sounds very different. Of course that could be to match with the tone as well. Ultimately it’s easily the weakest soundtrack but there was still a really good song for the final fight. Right now the theory is that it will be called Red Like Roses Part 3 since the opening lyrics are similar but we’ll see. It’s an excellent rock song and really brings you back to the classic days. The other themes are a little more fantastical but there is much less rock than usual. The ending song for the volume is emotional but not one that you would typically re-listen to after the first time. I’ll do a ranking of all the songs once they’re released and we’ll see if the full version buffs them a bit. Still, it’s a good soundtrack just a step down from what we’re used to.

Likewise that’s basically the case for the animation as well. The art is top tier as always and the colors have never been more vibrant. The character designs are on point and they clearly took a lot of time to make sure everything looked great. The only issue here are the fights which don’t have quite as much animation as you would expect. That’s really the only problem here. The fights are still fun overall but you can’t compare them to volume 8. The last fight of the volume though can hold its own with any of them. It’s super short but the part we get was still very crisp, fast, and streamlined. Exactly what you expect out of any RWBY fight so this one really delivered. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a Volume 5 situation.

Instead of them saving all the budget for the final fight since most was spent on GenLock, this time the budget was saved for the end because the group was taken off to work on the Justice League movie midway through the volume and the budget was already smaller. It also explains why the volume was only 10 episodes instead of the usual 12-13. They really didn’t have much room here to do anything more than what they needed to. Hoping that the next volume gets the full budget start to finish so we get a lot more intense fights like this though.

I would mention the flashbacks with Alyx and the gods but those look super low budget intentionally. It’s a narrative decision to make them look like storybooks even if I think they should have skipped that and made it look normal. My motto is that you should never intentionally make animation look older or lower quality even if that’s the intention. Sure you would have to create new 3D models…but then it’s time to start creating. I was glad that the flashback with Summer and Raven was fully animated. It makes you feel like Summer will be getting more scenes sooner than later now that she has a character model and I want to see how the mission with Salem went. Clearly not very well but still there is a lot to fill in there. Meanwhile it was also great to see a lot of the old characters return like Ironwood even if it was just as an illusion. It reminds you just how large of a presence the guy had and still has within the series.

The volume was a bit rushed so it could have used another 2-3 episodes I’d say but at least since it is so short, that makes it even easier to binge. You can definitely watch the whole volume as a movie of sorts and that would work really well. The season has a lot of light hearted moments to balance out the series ones and so you should feel good just going through it all. At the end of the day RWBY is always a lot of fun to watch and this volume is no exception.

Overall, There’s always more to discuss but that’s volume 9 in a nutshell. At the end of the day is pretty much is a side story and one that you could probably skip without missing much for volume 10. That said, it’s more RWBY content so you don’t want to miss that. It will naturally have far less replay value than most of the other volumes though as a result of the smaller cast and stakes. I would say it only beats Ice Queendom and loses to the rest of the main volumes. I’ve already rewatched all of the episodes once via reactions and I’ll be doing it a lot more so either way it’s still RWBY. It having less replay value doesn’t mean that it’s gone after all and there were still a lot of fun moments here. I would definitely recommend checking it out and at least before volume 10 we have the two movies to look forward too. That will have to satisfy the RWBY itch for now but you know as soon as volume 10 comes out, I will be there!

Overall 8/10

RWBY: Roman Holiday Review

All right it’s finally time to jump into the last RWBY book that I had not read. This one’s a prequel involving Neo and Torchwick so I had high hopes from the jump. Needless to say this one did end up passing the other two to be the best book in the series. It feels really plot important next to the others and Torchwick has always been a really entertaining character. Seeing more of him was nice and this is the most we’ve learned about Neo’s personality in the whole franchise. There’s a lot to enjoy here.

The book changes POVs in each chapter from Neo to Torchwick and so their stories stay separate for a while until they inevitably meet up. It makes for a good way to get invested in each of their plots and wait for them to collide. First up is the Neo plot where we see how she grew up in a rich household but this came at the expense of a loving environment. She was always trained on how to be a very dutiful child but she was rebellious and bored as a result so she made up an imaginary friend and caused a lot of mayhem. Eventually she was sent to a private school to be formally educated but even this is boring. What she needs is a new environment and someone who treats her as an equal but where can she find someone like this?

Meanwhile for Torchwick we see him in his younger days. The guy grew up in a rather rough environment in Mistral so he’s used to having to steal to survive and he fights off anyone who gets in his way. He steals wallets, etc. One day he is noticed by the big crime lord of the area who gives him a choice of serving under her or dying. Torchwick decides to serve while earning some petty cash on the side until he’s caught and leaves town for Vale. Now he has to try and succeed in a new environment but this won’t be an easy task. Of course this is where Neo lives so the two are about to cross paths.

Naturally I am assuming that you’ve watched the show before reading this book so that you understand the characters but even if you haven’t, I dare say that the book is pretty new reader friendly. It’s a story that is understand with a fun dynamic of a girl who wants adventure and a criminal who has pretty much hit the limit of what he can do without a partner in crime. So when you mix these two together then you are in for a fun adventure all the way through.

Torchwick is one of those fighters who is easy to underestimate because he doesn’t use a semblance but in the show he was able to easily defeat Blake and held his own against Sun for a while there. He was also obliterating volume 3 Ruby so you aren’t surprised when he wins most of his fights in this book. Ultimately he only goes down when the numbers are really against him and that’s when he’s in a position where most other fighters would be going down as well. Torchwick has a lot of wit when he is dealing with the others and he also never makes excuses. When he loses he just blames himself for not preparing and that’s the end of it. He doesn’t really have time to hold grudges or anything like that, he just keeps it moving.

He’s certainly a crook through and through so you never have any illusions about him being some kind of misunderstood hero. He’s just a very entertaining villain and that really goes a long way. He’s the kind of guy who is easy to sympathize with. Then you have Neo who has certainly been through her share of troubles. You get the feeling that her parents really need to take 90% of the blame for how she turned out because at her core she was a nice kid. She just never got enough attention and that ended up putting her on the wrong path. Naturally even at the school she was trying to be nice and the bullies came out of the woodworks so of course she turned to a life of crime.

The book focuses on how skilled she is at close quarters combat too. Neo always had a knack for it but at the school they helped perfect her skills. That was certainly the biggest benefit of being there. Neo also got street smart very quickly thanks to Torchwick and he was already at a level where she could likely deal with pro huntsman given that Torchwick was giving them the slip and she surpassed him very quickly.

There are a number of supporting characters here like Miltia and Melanie. They’re fun enough but I preferred them when they were going on missions and taking out targets of the gang as opposed to when they were just being petty bullies at school. I guess even villains need their downtime but it would have looked a whole lot better for them if they were cooler outside of their work. Lil’ Miss is impressive with how much clout she has even if physically she doesn’t seem like the most powerful fighter. You always wonder how the person at the top isn’t super powerful. I know in part it’s about how many followers you have but you’d think that a lot of them would jump ship if they knew that they were stronger than the leader right? I mean that would just make sense.

One of her stronger fighters was the Chameleon who had a pretty good fight with Torchwick. The power to camoflauge is certainly a good one to have. We saw Iliya use this fairly well back in volume 5. Ultimately you still can’t count Torchwick out of a fight though as he adapts to everyone quickly. Brick and Mortar found this out the hard way. The book has several fights here and it’s always fun to read a fight and try to visualize it. The tactics are on point and it’s nice to see another side of vale. While it may seem like a great place by day, apparently it’s still got a whole lot of crime once nightfall hits.

Not even the professional huntsman and Ozpin can keep a steady leash on them. Since Torchwick had the whole city running scared by volume 2 it’s fair to say that nobody was really in a position to stop him at all. The guy just got too powerful too quickly. A little cliffhanger ending with Cinder approaching him could have been fun but maybe they’re saving that for a sequel if this book ever gets one. We’d have to see why Torchwick ended up working for her. I mean we can all guess why (She probably forced him) but it’ll be cool to see that unfold. There are countless adventures that you can tell through the books and one day I hope they come up with more stories. This can’t be where the novels stop! Not when we were just getting started like this.

Overall, Roman Holliday is a great book. It really helps to expand the RWBY universe as we know it. Not with a lot of lore or anything like that but just the inner workings of how the kingdoms operate. We see just how rough people in Mistral have it where apparently people get mugged every day as a casual thing to the point where no cops will even appear. Then seeing the criminal underworld of Vale was enlightening. These are things the show probably wouldn’t have time for so using a book on them is perfect. More books like this would definitely go a very long way. So I highly recommend reading this one and hopefully they announce more at the next RTX convention.

Overall 8/10

RWBY: Fairy Tales of Remnant Review

This book came out a long while ago so it’s about time that I check it out right? It’s a spinoff so the main characters aren’t here and it’s really a bit of a meta book as this is basically meant to be a book that exists in universe as something that Professor Ozpin would hand out. As a result the stories aren’t exactly real per say. It’s heavily implied that parts of them are real or at least based on something which is really the point of the book in the end but at the same time since the complete stories aren’t real it does make you give it the side eye a bit. I think instead the stories should have been real since that would have been a lot of fun but either way it’s interesting. Since the stories are so short there will be spoilers as I describe them so definitely read this before checking the review out.

Each story is 6 pages so they all go by very quickly but it does mean that the book gets to store a lot of content. You’ll be able to breeze through the book in no time that’s for sure. The first story is about a boy who meets a huntress and this is a fairly novel concept back in the day. The rest of the village believed they were just lucky which is why Grimm don’t appear but the kid knows better now. He visits her once a year and they become friends but ultimately after a few years she stops appearing. Either she was defeated by the Grimm or eventually just got too old to keep on fighting. In the end that is probably the fate of just about every fighter because the Grimm are limitless while eventually every human gets old. This was a pretty good story to kick things off and ultimately while the ending can be tragic, it worked really well in this fairy tale setting.

The next story was about a man who challenged the Sun to a staring contest. If he won then the Sun had to be extra careful about his family’s crops for generations and if the Sun won then the family would have to worship it forever. Ultimately the human proves his determination and wins but it costs him his eyesight forever. It’s certainly a cautionary tale on one side that you have to be careful when challenging someone because you might lose a lot but also a story about how you should keep on going once you have started. If he quit midway then he would have really been in trouble since he would have lost a lot with nothing gained. This story was definitely a lot sadder than the first even though the hero won here. I feel like I’ve read a story sort of similar to this one but it works well.

In the 3rd story we have a god showing up to try and bring everyone to his utopia. He grabbed a bunch of humans and told them to follow him onto his island. Some did and gained animal traits but others were too scared and stayed away. Ultimately this would begin the big terror among the humans and faunus which would become a never ending civil war. Ozpin basically confirms that the story is fake but wanted to include it as another cautionary tale of not letting your fear get the best of you. I think what weakens this one a bit is Ozpin confirming that it’s fake and us knowing that it is because of the true origin of the Faunus but it’s still a decent what if.

Then we get a bit more of an action packed story as a hunter dies and his kids all think about what they want to do with their lives. One of them ends up becoming a hunter as well, one an adventurer, a protector, researcher, etc. Ultimately they learn that divided they will accomplish none of their goals and that they must work together if they really want to succeed. It’s a solid message here and in the end unity is the strongest weapon against the grimm. I think the kid who was planning to be a hunter as well had the right idea though. From all of the kids that one made the most sense and I guess in the end he just wasn’t strong enough to see it through. The teamwork moral is always a classic one.

Next up we have a story about a King who was the wisest in the land. Unfortunately after that he was given a crown which showed him some kind of future and he lost all of his confidence. It’s a shame since he was doing so well and I do think he looks pretty bad considering how overwhelmed he was. If he had just held on to a bit of his confidence then he would have ended up being all right but in the end that just wasn’t in the cards. The ending is at least happy thanks to a widow showing up and helping him overcome these fears. That tied the beginning and ending in well as she appeared right from the start and got good advice from him so this time it was her turn. The king looked pretty bad but it’s a solid enough story.

After that was easily the scariest story as a girl is performing a challenge with her brother one day to go into the woods. He’s scared since the Grimm are generally around but she forces him to go. Unfortunately he gets gravely ill and it turns out that he was possessed by the Grimm and ends up murdering everyone in the town. The girl tries to escape but eventually realizes that she is dead as well. It’s a chilling tale all the way through and Ozpin confirms that this could not happen but that the chill grimms are still very dangerous. The moral is obviously not to perform silly dangerous dares like this. In a world filled with powerful monsters everywhere it’s just not a very smart idea to wander off by yourself. That is how you get absolutely devastated.

Following that up is another story where a god decides to meddle with the animals and human affairs. He shows up and asks if they will listen to him. Each side figures he is about to destroy the other and quickly agrees but instead he merges traits from each side which effectively creates the faunus. Neither side is happy as animals and humans both turn on the faunus and now they are on their own. The moral basically is that they should have tried getting along at the start or having some unity afterwards but they let their differences get in the way. As always if the characters had just been reasonable then this could have been avoided.

After that is the worst story in the collection. It’s about a guy with immortality and it’s heavily implied that this is Ozpin. Basically he ends up taking in an apprentice and before long has a whole following. As he dies the girl convinces him to return to them which is something he never does but he ends up paying a visit to the organization (The Circle) and everyone is ecstatic because now they have proof of someone who can return from the dead. Unfortunately that means a lot of people start attacking them to challenge him so he decides to lose on purpose and dies. What he didn’t realize was that by doing this the organization was defenseless and they were all murdered. The moral is not to put all your trust in one person but really it should be that the main character wasn’t smart at all. You should never allow yourself to be destroyed on purpose. Of course the villains weren’t going to keep their word about sparing everybody. Cmon now!

The Two Brothers is a fun story since the show actually adapted this one, granted with some differences. The show version is the true canon one of course but basically it goes through similar motions as the god of darkness creates the grimm while the light one creates animals. Eventually they team up to create humans but there is still a lot of friction as they sabotage each other for no good reason. As a result they decide to hold a truce by going into a deep slumber and if the humans are finally united in the end then they will say that this was a success. If there are differences then the humans will be murdered so the stakes are high. Knowing that these two corrupt beings are still out there should absolutely scare everybody. I still say the heroes might need a plan for that since the gods are almost certainly going to be evil when they appear.

Then we have the story of seasons which is another story we already know from the show. Basically an old wizard is lonely and gets visited by 4 ladies who each represent a season. They help instill new life into him and as thanks he gives them each a quarter of his magic. He may be powerless but is more alive than he ever was before since they have shown him how to enjoy the day and just have fun doing normal activities. It’s a very cheery story and a nice change of pace from the more serious ones. At the end of the day it’s a classic moral of always doing nice things to people because there is no downside and sometimes it can be really helpful.

Next up is effectively Rapunzel but with a bit of a twist. A girl is locked up in a tower by her father, one of the most powerful warriors in the world. She wants out and so she throws letters out the window begging people to save her. Many heroes arrive but they are all defeated by her father until one rescues her. It’s a classic saving the princess story but the tale makes sure to note clearly that a ton of people still died during the rescues so it wasn’t quite as happy as it may sound at face value. You do feel bad for those guys but at the same time they died following their own sense of justice so it was definitely a pretty good way to go out. I don’t think they would have any regrets.

Finally we come to the end with a story about the Moon but it’s probably the most boring story. It’s not bad but there isn’t much to it. The Sun has a hard time trying to make everyone happy and it crashes from over effort. The humans build a second one which becomes the new Sun and then they turn the old one into the Moon. It’s certainly interesting how humans are advanced enough to do this so it’s also probably the fakest story of them all. It’s also a shame for the Sun since he lost in both stories that he appeared in. I guess in the end he just can’t quite keep up with those pesky humans.

Overall, There are quite a few stories in here and they do make for a fun read. As with all anthologies there will be some fun stories and some weaker ones. Ultimately the balance works well enough to make this a good book but I will always prefer a central narrative to the anthology style. It’s higher reward all the way around. Still, I’m always glad to see more RWBY books and hopefully they keep coming. There is a whole lot of additional content that we could stand to learn about the world of Remnant.

Overall 6/10

RWBY Volume 9 Premiere: What Happens Next?

So RWBY has finally returned! We’ve waited actual years for Volume 9 so it feels like a true accomplishment to have it back. It’s a shame that the season will only have 10 episodes so I’m still hoping against hope that the writers come out and say this was a mistake and they will still have the usual 13-14. If that doesn’t happen though, it does seem to strengthen the theories that this volume is more of a sidestory event just focusing on Team RWBY and their character development while the outside world is being terrorized by Salem.

So with 1 episode down I thought this was a good time to do some predictions on how the rest of the volume might end up playing out. After all not much has happened yet and we got the theme song so this is absolutely the perfect time for theory crafting. It’s been nostalgic going to the RWBY subreddit and reading up on all of the theories popping around over there. I think some of them do have a lot of potential and I’ve got a few thoughts of my own. I’ll have a review up for the season once it’s over so I won’t be diving much into the actual episode. What I’ll say is it’s already introduced us to a fun new villain which is cool. Unfortunately I’m probably not going to love the setting because Alice in Wonderland type areas usually aren’t my favorite and it’s more of a jungle type area than the intense world of remnant. It kind of reminds me of the wacky world in Tenkai Knights.

It is a chance for Team RWBY to catch up and relax though. I do hope we still get a lot of big action scenes though. After Volume 5, 6 started off strong with recovering on the hype fights and this continued to the next two volumes. The only action scene in this episode wasn’t very impressive but I don’t think it was really meant to be. It’s a quick minion fight after all, not a big event. This premiere would end up losing to most of RWBY’s other premieres though because not a whole lot happened as I mentioned earlier. This felt more like a random episode in the middle of the season as opposed to the opener because it was also very short. Fingers crossed the next episode dials things up real fast. Now it’s predictions time though!

1. We really won’t be seeing the outside world at all except for the very final episode.

I am hoping this is not the case as I really want to see what’s going on above ground but I think the fact that nobody showed up in the opening is very telling. I would have expected them to have at least appeared a little bit if we were going to go up there. I assume things are still going on up top unless time is frozen while RWBY is in this realm so you have to imagine that the heroes are in a really dire spot right now. Cinder is more powerful than ever and Salem will be sure to be on the attack soon. Without RWBY the heroes’ forces are much weaker so I just don’t see them even being able to hang on for very long. I’m sure the story within this fantasy world will be fun too but it’s just tricky timing because things were really heating up outside.

2. When RWBY returns to the upper world, there will be a big time skip much like the ending of Resident Evil: Retribution

Any of you guys remember that movie? This is my worst fear by the way so it’s a prediction I hope doesn’t happen but if the team wants to hurry to the climax then it would make a lot of sense. We’d have the team return to the human world only to find out that Salem’s forces are completely annihilating the heroes. You can either go full dark with all of the heroes mainly being obliterated and only a small resistance remains or they are all being defeated when Team RWBY shows up with their new power ups and crush them all.

On one hand of course it would be cool to see our heroines make a big entrance like that but on the other hand time skips are always really risky. A lot of times the content you miss is just so big and drastic that you always wonder how it could have possibly gotten to that point. Absolutely the villains have the edge but if we go back to the surface and see Raven and Winter already defeated it would be a bit annoying because I still want to see how they actually end up fighting against the villains. They have a whole lot of abilities at their disposal after all and I consider both of them to be top 5 in the verse.

3. The new girl from the opening is Ruby’s Scythe

This is a popular theory from Reddit and I think it makes a lot of sense. In the opening we see her leading the group similar to how Ruby was always at the front back in the day with her enthusiasm. When the Scythe washes up to the beach the new girl is the one in front of it. It could be sort of like Bleach where your weapon actually takes up a personality and a sense of self. It will help Ruby gets out of her head and finally regain her fighting spirit. At this point it can be a little annoying how Ruby is quickly brought to tears and faints when bad news comes up so this will be a way for her to finally get past that. I don’t need her to enter rage mode all the time (Although I wouldn’t mind) but it’s time she keeps a stern face about this and this would be an effective way to do it.

4. Each member of RWBY is going to get their ultimate power up by the end of the volume

I think it’s time for the heroines to finally get equipped for the battle with Salem. This is in part because I see us jumping to the climax after this so for the big entrance it makes sense to get their final forms now. I think they will each get some introspection here and by mastering who they are and what they want to do, they will be able to level up their semblance into its final form. Effectively they will gain powers equivalent to that of the maidens without becoming maidens. Main reason for this is because at this point I’m not sure I see all of Team RWBY becoming Maidens. I could totally see Winer and Raven giving Weiss and Yang their maiden powers but Blake and Ruby don’t have the same connections like that. Cinder giving the power to Ruby would be a bit cheesy unless she just hates her so much that Ruby is her last thought. But I think either all 4 will get the Maidens or none will so separate power ups makes sense.

5. Jaune has turned evil and will be one of the main antagonists of the volume

This was a popular fan theory the instant that the first teaser came out with the knight but it makes a lot of sense. Ultimately he made the wrong call in murdering Penny and once you murder someone it’s a quick trip into the dark side. I don’t think Jaune would have had the strength to fight that and so he did turn completely evil. It will be similar to the Supreme King in that the heroes will have to fight him to conquer his inner darkness. Ironically Ice Queendom already did this with Weiss and Blake so basically grab that whole plotline and use it for Jaune instead.

6. Neo will get her origin story and then she will die

Yes Neo already got the book which deals with her past a bit but I don’t think the showrunners are going to take a chance on people not reading it. So we’re going to see a full origin story in the show. It doesn’t have to be long, it can be half an episode like Cinder’s origin but it will give us some more knowledge on who she is and how she got to this point. After that she will die in the fight against RWBY. She won’t be redeemed and will go out as an evil villain to the end which is how it should be. I’m really looking forward to seeing her fight because I still rank her very highly in terms of power levels.

7. This world is attuned to RWBY’s emotions so the way to get out is just to wish for it

As people noted on Reddit the world seems to change based on how the girls are feeling. When Ruby is getting sad and faints then rain starts to fall all around them but when Blake tries to cheer them all up the sun shines in her face. I think it makes sense that the world is sort of brought about by their psyches but it’s a mix of all of them which is why Jaune and Neo are going to turn things for the worse. Again there are quite a few fun parallels to Ice Queendom here. This one may be a stretch, it’s a bit early to say how this will go for sure but I think the theory works as well as any. If this does happen to be the case I’ll assume Neo murdered all the random civilians so their weak imaginations wouldn’t wreck this for her.

8. Weiss will be the only member of the team not challenged emotionally

This one might be a bit bold but I’d love for this to be the case. Weiss has conquered every single one of her demons already. I would argue that she is the most mentally sound of member of the whole group at this point. So nothing this place does can shake her. I could still see the world messing with Blake by bringing up how things haven’t gotten any better for the Faunus. I can see it trying to convince Yang that she isn’t strong enough since she’s still missing an arm. Yang may also believe that it’s her fault that everyone else had to jump in after her since it sure sounded like that from Ruby’s explanation. We already know Ruby is getting knocked out quickly so Weiss being the strong one would make sense.

9. Neo will still be too powerful for any member of Team RWBY individually

I still say Neo is too powerful for any of these fighters one on one. Yang is the only one who I would say has a shot here but even then Neo should be too powerful. She was holding her own against Cinder 1 on 1 in volume 6 and to date has never flat out lost a fight. She crushed Yang in Volume 2, crushed Ruby in volume 3, and continues to dominate. If she loses one on one then it won’t really be satisfying at all if you ask me.

10. We will see what happened to Penny’s body as well as the civilians who fell off the bridge

Okay so I’m going out on a limb here but we absolutely need this to be acknowledged and I don’t think the show has forgotten. This is one where I’ve seen quite a few people saying they doubt the people who fell off the bridge will be acknowledged but that wouldn’t make sense. A bunch of people fell aside from the main 4 and Jaune so I do think they will appear. Whether they were mentally dominated and turned into minions or murdered I do think this will be addressed. Likewise Penny’s body should be somewhere on the island. Who knows, maybe they will revive her a second time although I wouldn’t count on it.

So those are my 10 predictions for the volume. Some are fairly cold takes while others are more bold predictions. We’ll see how it all turns out. Ultimately RWBY is always the greatest show out there so whether this volume loses to some of the other volumes, all of them, or beats all of them, I’m ready for a lot of hype. Having the great discussions and reactions to watch online will be great because now there’s going to be an avalanche of new content to absorb. Hopefully there isn’t a long break until the next volume though. Not sure I’m ready for another multi year break like last time. The RWBY adventures must continue! As a final note, it was a great idea for them to release the full RWBY opening early this time so I can have it on loop every week.

Ranking all of the RWBY Volumes based on episode rankings

This is it guys! The moment of truth, I’m going to take the average scores of each RWBY volume based on their episode placements from the comparisons. So that each volume has an equal amount of episodes and placements I am only using the first 10 episode comparisons and then the finales as they are the 11 instances where all 9 volumes were active. I’m going to first list the episode rankings by each volume and then we’ll get into the actual placements.

Volume 1

3 7 7 5 3 6 6 6 6 3 4

Volume 2

5 6 9 2 5 8 7 4 5 8 6

Volume 3

1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 2

Volume 4

7 9 6 9 9 3 1 9 9 9 8

Volume 5

9 2 8 6 8 4 8 3 4 4 5

Volume 6

4 8 5 7 2 7 3 8 8 5 7

Volume 7

8 4 2 8 7 9 4 5 3 1 3

Volume 8

6 5 3 3 4 2 5 2 2 6 1

Ice Queendom

2 3 4 4 6 5 9 7 7 7 9

Now lets get into the rankings and really dive into these stats. I always like looking at stats, the whole thing is just fascinating and this is a good way to really see how things stack up on a more detailed level than me just saying how I would rank the volumes.

9. Volume 4

Highest Placement 1
Lowest Placement 9
Average Placement 7.1

It’s not too surprising to see Volume 4 here. It came in last place 6 times out of 11 rankings after all and it only placed higher than 6th twice. It’s really the price for being more of a lore volume. At the end of the day it’s tough competition going up against the other RWBY volumes too. Still, it did make it to 1st once which is already impressive on its own. That Tyrian vs Qrow battle really helped bring the average up quite a bit. It was the first big fight against a pro villain from the cabal after all so there was a lot of hype there.

8. Volume 2

Highest Placement 2
Lowest Placement 9
Average Placement 5.9

Volume 2 never quite managed to come in first as 2nd was the best it could do but it was still fairly consistent. It had only one last place finish but for the most part it was still just placing too low to get much higher than this. This volume introduced us to some of the really iconic villains like Neo and the food fight was iconic. This would be the last volume that was more of a 50/50 action and comedy split as things would continue to get more intense from here. Definitely a volume that you don’t forget and I always note the really solid animation improvement from volume 1 with the colors and shadows.

7. Volume 6

Highest Placement 2
Lowest Placement 8
Average Placement 5.7

I guess the evenly numbered Volumes are losing out so far. Volume 6 was more stable than the last few as it didn’t come in first or last place so all of its placings were between 2 and 8. Even with that it only had a narrow edge over Volume 2 with the average placement. It has some sow moments in between the big battles which allowed the other volumes to gain ground but the climax with Adam was really intense. That’s the kind of thing that will help the volume big time if this had gone past the initial 10 episodes. In some ways being a longer volume actually holds you back in this kind of thing which is something important to note.

6. Volume 5

Highest Placement 2
Lowest Placement 9
Average Placement 5.6

Volume 5 did come in last a least once but never in first which kept it from going higher. The climax is spectacular but of course that isn’t factored in here so all told this one really did quite well. I always think of Volume 5 as the big plot volume. 4 had the lore, 5 developed all the plots, and then 6 would get us back in on the action. I talk about the budget enough so I’ll avoid that here. All in all I still had a great time with this volume and it’s the first one that I got to watch live so that’s always a very memorable part of the experience.

5. Ice Queendom

Highest Placement 2
Lowest Placement 9
Average Placement 5.4

Much like the actual show you can see how Ice Queendom started out near the top but then by episode 5 it quickly started to plummet into the lower rankings. The original plot could still be fun but was a lot weaker than the actual RWBY plots so maybe they should have stuck to those a little more. We did finally get more Weiss fights like her vs Ruby and then against Blake so that was cool though. I’d like to see the heroes spar more in the future and the anime is still a great introduction for the few who haven’t started watching RWBY yet. This is your chance!

4. Volume 1

Highest Placement 3
Lowest Placement 7
Average Placement 5.2

The most balanced volume yet. It never reached the top two spots or the bottom two. Volume 1 was always closer to the middle and that worked out well for it. I’d say it tracks well since it was just a really fun volume. Its peaks are lower but so are the drops and that’s why it’s a great way to get hooked on the series. There are no points where it loses steam or you start to lose interest. It’s a great way to get into the series and introduces the characters well.

3. Volume 7

Highest Placement 1
Lowest Placement 9
Average Placement 5.1

Despite being so high, Volume 7 was one of the extremes where it came in first and last. Taking any 1st place away from Volume 3 is always very impressive so that’s definitely something to keep in mind. The climax was fantastic with the fights against AceOps and a lot of great Ironwood development. To date he is probably one of the most well developed characters in all of media. You really see how his character arc goes through its processes and while Volume 8 may have mishandled some parts, he was perfect in this volume. Just enough moral gray thrown in there where you didn’t know if you should trust him or not.

2. Volume 8

Highest Placement 1
Lowest Placement 6
Average Placement 3.8

Volume 8 was very strong from start to the finish. For the most part it would just stick to placing in the top 3 and only on occasion would it drop further than that. That’s when you know that a volume is really up there. In a way this was the next big Volume 3 moment as all of the villains showed up to cause a lot of chaos and put a few thorns in the heroes’ path. That’s not something that can be easily done. The music was top tier and it was really a great end to the journey. Volume 9 will likely be taking the heroes in a different direction as they’re stuck on a different world so we have to see how that’ll go.

1. Volume 3

Highest Placement 1
Lowest Placement 2
Average Placement 1.2

Volume 3 has arrived! Never coming in lower than 2nd is absolutely crazy. It shows just how broken this volume was in a good way. Just about every episode had a massive fight and lots of great things going on the whole time. It is and has always been my favorite volume for that reason. The series just wouldn’t be the same without this one and the heroes really got taken to their absolute breaking point. It was when characters like Adam, Qrow, Winter, Ironwood, and a bunch of others really got involved. This was the ultimate groundwork for the ultimate series.

So there goes it. That’s how the volumes rank based on the episodes. This was definitely a really fun project to go through and nothing beats watching all of the RWBY episodes yet again right? Hopefully I bought enough time to make Volume 9 come closer. Some people think it’ll be coming out in around 2 months or so. I’ll be hoping that this is the case because the adventure must go on!

Ranking all of the RWBY Season Finales

So this is it, we’ve made it to the finales for each volume. It’s been a fun ride but now we can see once and for all which volume ended in the best way. It’s going to be a battle for the ages and it’s nice to see all of the volumes back in action for this one. I’ve already done the breakdown for most of them so I’ll probably keep it short on the reruns.

9. Ice Queendom

Ice Queendom had a lot of big fights and action towards the end but the final episode is more of an aftermath which puts it at a considerable disadvantage here. It just doesn’t quite have the fight scenes needed to get a higher spot. The food fight was cool but it was more stylistic than actually combat based like in volume 2. It was a great way to cap off the journey regardless though and I hope we get a season 2 at some point because there are lots of other adventures to be told here. We can’t just let it end like this.

8. Volume 4

Volume 4 ended off with the big fight against the Grimm that took out Ren’s village so it was definitely personal. It was a good fight that used a lot of strategy up but this was when they were still finding their footing with the new animation engine and so it couldn’t quite keep up with the newer fights. You also never felt like the heroes were in much danger from a Grimm no matter how big and strong he was. They still had the speed advantage the whole time and sheer numbers. Ending off with finally getting sent over to Haven was good as it felt like the journey was complete. Volume 4 may have had a lot of exposition but it was still a very complete adventure.

7. Volume 6

Volume 6 would have been higher if this was just one episode earlier with the Adam fight. Ending with the giant mech wasn’t quite as intense although I know it was fairly strong. Getting Ruby to finally master using her eyes was definitely her biggest achievement here and the song was a lot of fun. It’s still a very climactic way to end things off and 6 was a really fun volume. The finale may be a little low in the ranks but ultimately it still puts up a good fight all the way around. It was great seeing all of the heroes team up again like the good ole days. Going forward the team would finally be united instead of being split apart.

6. Volume 2

Volume 2 allows us to see a bunch of characters all fighting off an invasion which was cool. We saw how the students would step up as needed to protect the city. None of the individual fights may have ever had the heroes in danger here but the fight itself is still rather large scale. When Coco shows up she certainly makes a splash in the power levels with how she downs so many Nevermores with a single strike. Her machine gun is really quite impressive, there aren’t almost any weapons that could keep up with that. Surprisingly Team RWBY doesn’t get quite as much to do since this is a showcase for the other characters but they’re still taking down a lot of Grimm in the background. Deep down you figure RWBY could have solo’d the invasion eventually.

5. Volume 5

Volume 5 closes out the big battle with Hazel here as the heroes gain the upper hand. Unfortunately almost all of the fight is off screen. We get a nice conversation with Yang and Raven though. Yang may have been pressing her luck a whole lot there but at the end of the day Raven isn’t so evil that she would destroy her own daughter here. Raven’s definitely a villain and one who has made the wrong calls over the years but she has also done a great job of surviving. You probably want to have her on your side at the end of the day. It was also nice to see Adam a bit as always although unfortunately I wouldn’t say that he was super impressive here. I suppose he stalled Sun for a second or two but is that really something that’s big enough to really praise like that? His dialogue is always top tier though.

I always have some issues with the volume’s climax and how things were handled but at the end of the day it’s still fairly high up in the ranks because the story is just that good. You are super invested in what is going to happen next and that is absolutely a very impressive thing to be proud of. Not every title could say the same.

4. Volume 1

The original volume is here at last! Ending things with a solid Blake vs Torchwick battle was great and of course we got to see Sun fighting a bit. This was the best fight of the first volume and the final episode ended things on a high note as you would expect. I also liked that Torchwick could actually fight a whole lot. He isn’t just someone in the shadows who gives orders but someone who could go out there and dish out the pain as needed. The episode may be shorter than the average finale but there was no shortage of action and it’s super nostalgic. This one absolutely earns its place near the top for those reasons.

3. Volume 7

We get our next big maiden moment here as Cinder goes up against the dying winter maiden and Penny gets the powers for a bit. It’s a solid way to end the volume and I liked that Ruby was ready to use her silver eyes right away. With the heroes no longer on the same page as Ironwood and the Ace Ops it really made you realize that the future was only going to get a lot harder for them on all sides. The episode also had a really dynamite ending song to show just how fierce the villains were looking. Cinder has had her share of losses over the years so this was a great way to get her back in the mix as a top threat. Even without using her maiden powers all that much she was overwhelming Winter who is one of the most skilled fighters here.

2. Volume 3

Volume 3’s finale is really iconic. I’ve seen it many times as the ultimate ending to my favorite volume. Seeing Pyrrha go up to the roof to fight Cinder even though she was outmatched was excellent. It really showed how she had a hero’s drive through and through. Nobody was going to stop her from doing her best to try and stop the incoming threat. We got to see all of the students band together here and the ending felt like a true ending to the original saga. This was the turning point for the series to really become very story based. Throw in the ending with Salem’s true reveal and the amount of hype here just could not be contained.

1. Volume 8

Isn’t it fitting that Volume 8 should win this round? The series really ended things off on the highest note imaginable and it’s why the wait for Volume 9 has felt so long. It’s going to be hard for 9 to top this one but we’ll see how that goes. Cinder takes on basically the entire cast in this episode and we really see just how far she has come along. I have major issues with Jaune taking out Penny though. It was the wrong call then and it’s still the wrong call now. He has to be able to find another way and just say no in that situation. Then of course we have the Ironwood vs Winter fight with a lot of spectacular dialogue the whole time. You can feel how frustrated Ironwood is the whole time with everything caving in around him. It would have been cool if he fired one shot to take down Cinder though. It wouldn’t have worked but I’d have liked the attempt.

There was a ton of drama and intensity here all the way through. Not only is it the best season finale but it’s one of the best episodes in all of RWBY. I’ve seen the fights here so many times since it came out. The music, the animation, it’s all flawless. This is exactly why you would have picked up the series in the first place. Volume 8 capitalizes on everything that you could ever need.

So there you go, we’ve now ranked the episodes from each volume for each episode number. It was quite the journey but no worries, RWBY will continue! Expect a post soon taking the average scores for each Volume so we can truly see how each one ranked. I’ve always said that Volume 3 is the best volume, but will the numbers support this or have I been underestimating one of them? Either way it’ll be fun to check that out and see how this goes. See you next time!

Ranking all of the RWBY Episode 13s

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

4. Volume 6

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

3. Volume 7

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

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

2. Volume 5

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

1. Volume 8

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

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

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

Ranking all of the RWBY Episode 12s

We lose another 4 volumes with episode 12 so this list is about to get a whole lot smaller going forward. We’re getting a lot of final episodes here. It’s fun to see how active Cinder is in just about every volume. She has really withstood the test of time and it’s fortunate that I’m a big fan. I can see how one could get tired of her with how she’s always around but she has a lot of style so it ends up being okay. Now lets dive into the rankings!

8. Ice Queendom

Ice Queendom has been a fun ride and I’ll definitely have a full review up for it soon. In the meantime this works really well as an epilogue episode. A chance to just see the characters interacting and now that they have all had a lot of character development, they’re the best friends you remember. The series really nailed the characters for Blake and Weiss in particular and why they are so great. Both are usually considered to have the most development from the main group and it’s nice to see how they’ve changed. Even the little things like Weiss waiting for Blake afterwards so they could have one last talk and reaffirm how they will change the world was great.

There’s also a nice adaption of the food fight here. It may not have as much fighting as the original version but it’s really meant to show the characters all having fun as opposed to being more of a serious battle between teams. I definitely hope we get a season 2 announced soon. It’s such a perfect accompaniment to the main series, especially with the main volumes taking so long to come out. Ultimately as an epilogue episode it makes sense that this wouldn’t past the other episodes but it was still a very strong showing.

7. Volume 4

It’s time for the end of Volume 4. We get a massive fight against a large Grimm here which ends up being one of the longest fights against any Grimm creature. It’s nice to see Ruby fighting with team Jaune one last time here. There are a lot of good combinations used and the fight is on point. I have a little trouble believing that they had this much trouble with the creature though. It was a nice way to have one last confrontation before going up against the cabal members more frequently in volumes 5 and beyond. Volume 4 as a whole may have been a lot more mixed compared to the other volumes but it had the tough job of having to get a lot of the exposition out of the way and did a good job with it. It set the stage for all of the characters to lead into Volume 5 and that’s why the wait for the next volume was so tough. It may not have ended in a high spot but that’s because the competition is other RWBY episodes. Put this up against a different series and it would be in a really good spot.

6. Volume 2

Volume 2 goes in next with the final episode and we get a big invasion by the Grimm. It’s a nice showcase for virtually every character in the series to show up and land some combination moves. Even Emerald and Mercury fight a bit in order to keep up their cover. It lacks the tension that the Volume 3 invasion had because there isn’t a whole lot of fear that the Grimm can put into the heroes at this point. They’re all getting shredded but the fights have great choreography as always. It also has the best ending scene from all the volumes as Adam steps in and finally announces his involvement. You figured that he was around somewhere but seeing him like that just made the ending feel all the more real. You knew things were going to escalate and the tournament was mentioned so you had that to look forward to. This really marked the end of the happy days for the team as things would start to get serious very quickly and so it made for a very fun finale. The fact that it is ranked so low just shows how powerful the other episodes coming up are.

5. Volume 8

In this episode we have the heroes finally rise up to take down Ironwood! While the second half is mainly about planning how to save everyone in Atlas and Mantle, the first half is the really powerful moment because Ironwood has been around for a very long time. It’s also impressive that he took on a large chunk of the cast all by himself. It’s always hard not to root for a character getting outnumbered to fight back a bit. Perhaps you’re not rooting for him to win but with odds like that you’re hoping he can put up a resistance and he does. The fact that Ironwood was pushing most of the characters back was really impressive.

By this point in the story he was a complete villain but since you did see him as a hero and just how determined he used to be, you’re glad that this part of him is still there. He is still Ironwood through and through, he’s just unfortunately gone over to the other side. Winter had to make a hard call in changing sides but ultimately she did the right thing and we got to see this with Emerald as well. It may be one of the less action packed episodes in this list but it was still a really solid one either way.

4. Volume 5

Here we continue with the big climax at Haven but unfortunately the chinks in the armor all appear at once. We have a ton of highly skilled fighters going up against each other but the actual animation isn’t up to par. Characters barely move and the power levels make no sense. How does Lionheart go from getting wrecked by Oscar to stalemating Qrow for a while? I have issues with Hazel stalemating Qrow as well the whole time. This would be the beginning of the end for Qrow’s hype. There are so many hype things going on and if the fights looked as good as the ones coming after it then this would certainly rank much higher. As it is it’s still a very intense episode with a great cliffhanger. It’s always a pleasure to see Raven on screen as she is one of the best characters in RWBY and her scenes always leave a very big impact. I would say she mishandled this situation to a large extent but this at least salvages that and of course you know the next episode will end up being a massive one. The budget was all saved for this moment after all!

3. Volume 3

Volume 3 has returned as we come to the end of my favorite volume. The fight with Pyrrha and Cinder was really spectacular. You know that the heroine is outmatched the whole time but she still tried her best to win and at the end of the day that’s all you can do. She didn’t back away from her challenges and went at Cinder head on. We get a lot of emotional bears here and the heroes are really just barely hanging on. When the dust settles some of them really were broken and have lost the will to fight while others press on. To this day it absolutely still ranks as one of the most powerful RWBY episodes and showing off Salem at the end was really big. It was like the Thanos moment of the RWBY verse because Salem has been the big bad that the whole series had been leading up to until now. It’s not a moment that you would ever forget that’s for sure. This was really the end of the original RWBY era as Volume 4 would start what I consider to be the modern saga. No more school adventures, from here on out it would be about finding Salem and taking her down.

2. Volume 6

This is it, the big Adam fight! I’d been waiting for the rematch for so long and this episode doesn’t disappoint. The choreography is really good and the show did a great job of course correcting and making Adam a threat again. The dialogue between Yang, Blake, and Adam is also fantastic as you see just how emotional the fight is. I would still say that in the end Adam became too obsessive with Blake when she was not his primary focus though. I know losing in one punch during Volume 5 is something that’s hard to get over but at the same time you just have to keep on fighting and if he focused on the goals of the White Fang then he wouldn’t be in this predicament.

There is also the subplot with Team RWBY taking on the giant mech but of course it is overshadowed by the Adam battle. It was good to see Ruby showing her leadership and Weiss helping out with the combos the whole time though. Gone are the days when Ruby’s leadership skills were lacking. She’s really come into her own at this point and does a great job with the strategy. All in all Volume 6 really brought out its A game for the climax.

1. Volume 7

We have made it to the greatest episode in the RWBY franchise. Yes, this one is in 1st place and by a decent margin for me. It just managed to do everything right and I’ve seen this episode countless times. The fight with the Ace Ops is perfect. We haven’t seen a full team up fight against another group like this since Volume 3. The heroes got to show off their teamwork and unity against some of the most powerful fighters in the world. It was a really satisfying watch and the song was also amazing. There is just so much to love about this episode and the main fight was so good you almost forget that we also had the big Qrow vs Tyrian rematch.

The subplot is one area where I always disagreed with the fans though. Qrow got a tremendous amount of shots taken at him because people said he teamed up with Tyrian and betrayed Clover. I just don’t see it no matter how many times I watch the episode. Qrow tries to de-escalate 3 times and goes after Tyrian but every time Clover tries to stab him in the back. So yes by the end Qrow has to turn his attention over to Clover but that’s because he had no choice. It was Clover (And Robyn to an extent but I blame her far less since her gut instinct that Atlas would try to mess her over was proven correct in the end) who really messed up here. He should have trusted his friends and not been glued to the orders the whole time. That it what ended up costing him here.

That was a really powerful batch of episodes that’s for sure. The heroes really got put through the wringer here and we got some absolutely massive fights. It all just makes me even more excited for Volume 9 once it finally comes out. That will definitely be a great moment but at least in the meantime it’s great that we have 9 different seasons of content to watch. You can never have enough of RWBY after all. It’s the show that keeps getting better every time you watch it. Stay tuned for the next batch!