RWBY/Justice League Review


It’s been a long time coming, but I finally got to check out the RWBY crossover event. It takes things in a very different direction than I was expecting though and I don’t think it works out as well as it could have. Doing a straight crossover would have definitely been the best bet. Still, it’s nice seeing the RWBY characters in a new adventure, that’s always a positive at least.

The story starts with the gang meeting up with Superman. He’s only recently been in town and his semblance is fairly powerful. As long as the sun is up he can do just about anything. Meanwhile Weiss meets up with Bruce Wayne who is rich and fairly good at cracking puzzles. That’s a good thing because people with powerful semblances are being targeted by someone and the heroes have to get to the bottom of it quick. Will they all be able to team up and put a stop to this?

Right away the main issue here is that instead of meeting the real Batman and Superman the heroes are meeting teenage versions of them who have semblances. Later on in the story we get a bit of a multiversal approach thanks to Jessica Cruz showing up but instead of making this a plot point at the end, it should have just been a classic crossover. Have a portal open and the Justice League fall out of it or something like that. Part of the hype in crossovers is seeing all of the interactions between characters but it doesn’t really count if they aren’t the characters that you were expecting.

Like if it was in the Justice League world and they met with an anti-hero named Ruby Rose who was some kind of huntress. It wouldn’t really be the same because it’s a totally different version. So this crossover completely squanders the crossover aspect of the crossover and has to survive as a stand alone story after that. It does to a decent extent but even then I wouldn’t call it a very good comic. For starters, the series seems more intent on having a lot of shipping and such over the actual plot.

At times the plot feels more like a backdrop than the focus. We have a little investigating as all of the heroes split up and everything but there isn’t really a huge focus on the whole thing either. The heroes eventually stumble onto the main villain and then we get a quick fight. It’s not particularly engaging though. It’s not boring but you’re never all that invested in the story and I feel like it’s because there are 0 stakes. Yes, people are being kidnapped and all but there’s absolutely no sense of danger. It feels more like a filler episode than a big adventure.

The art also isn’t very good. The details are not on point and it doesn’t feel like a whole lot of effort was put into the whole thing. The characters can go off model but mainly the faces are the issue. None of the action scenes are all that good and it feels like once again, RWBY got the short end of the stick here. More often than not the art isn’t great for the series and this is another example of it. I’m not saying it had to look 5 stars but a little better would have been good.

Now while this all sounds pretty bad, I do want to say that this isn’t a bad comic. It’s still got some good moments in there but you see all of the wasted potential and can’t help thinking about it. This could have been a really great comic and instead I would just call it good with almost no replay value. Seeing the RWBY characters is mainly the positive here like Yang being tough and Ruby getting to take charge. I wouldn’t say the DC characters look great though. Superman acts way too timid at times and Batman’s flirting way too much.

I guess that’s part of the problem of being Bruce Wayne 24/7 with no Batman persona to back him up. The decision to make Wonder Woman more of a total robot was definitely an odd one. I wasn’t expecting that but it’s not bad, just felt very random. The main villain at the end is okay but he wouldn’t have been my first pick for a DC villain because he’s basically mindless. Not completely or anything but you’re not going to get any fun dialogue out of him or quality banter. He’s just kind of around as an enemy to defeat. There’s just not a whole lot to do there. The best DC character here would probably be Jessica Cruz. I don’t buy her being stronger than Superman ordinarily but I can accept it in this version where he is totally reliant on his semblance and her powers still appear to be fully normal.

I guess another good thing here at least is that Team RWBY shows up the Justice League. It may be a small consolation since this JL isn’t even really a team or look all that impressive but I’ll take it. Team RWBY should have way better teamwork than the JL because they’ve always been a unit and it shows here. So I’ll take the wins where I can get them.

Overall, If the writing was better and we had a good story then this would have gotten a lot farther. As it stands this feels like a bit of an official fanfic with no real substance and weakened versions of all the characters. It’s a fun enough story for when you need some more RWBY content but I definitely hope the movie has a very different plot here. I need a true crossover with a lot of quality action and hype moments. Check this one out if you want a low key adventure where the characters get to talk with some DC inspired fighters. Otherwise it’s back to waiting for the next TV show volume!

Overall 6/10

RWBY: Ice Queendom


This one’s definitely off to a fun start, it’s certainly got the best artwork for a RWBY manga yet and did a good job of adapting the opening. I’ve got high hopes for this series and will definitely have the review up once it ends! More RWBY content is always a good thing

Overall 8/10

RWBY: Before the Dawn Review


At long last I have finished the second RWBY novel and am one step closer to being caught up with the novels. It feels like a big accomplishment to me at least since I’ve had them checked out since forever. I thought this one improved upon the first book too. It expanded the cast so we got to see more of the classic characters and we also got more fights. That’s a win/win in my book.

In this adventure Team SSSN is not having a good time. The various members are upset at Sun for always ditching them to do his own thing. In particular Scarlet is super upset about this and keeps on taking shots at Sun. Meanwhile there are a lot of people vanishing from Vacuo so Team CFVY is on the case. They also have to find out more about the Crown, a mysterious villain group. Sun has been investigating the vanishings too so he volunteers his team to help….without telling them first. With all of the drama and disagreements that this team brings to the equation, should Coco even let them join in? Also, can they possibly save the world while they’re all fighting each other like this?

It felt like there was always a lot happening in this book which was nice. After all we have the vanishings going around, the Crown mind controlling people, and the school acting really shady. The Beacon students have even opened up a little counseling session where they all talk about how badly they feel. Now some characters like Sun take shots at this and have fun names for it like the Baby room but it was a nice bit of world building. We see how this move to Shade Academy has not been easy for them. Apparently they’ve even been excluded and bullied to an extent.

Now, when it comes to the counseling room I can see why Sun finds this to be a bad idea. The group all huddling together does seem like this will further widen the gap with the other students. At the same time, it seems like they wouldn’t be included either way so it gets tricky. I would say they don’t need this room to be honest. It doesn’t hurt anything but I’d probably be skipping to do more training and everything. Got to keep on getting stronger and stronger after all.

The school environment is something that does limit what the heroes can do for a while. Unfortunately they are still students so there isn’t a whole lot that they can do outside of the rules. They could try to escape but then they may have pro huntsmen after them. I’m sure the heroes could beat them up but after a point you start doing more good to the very people you are trying to protect. I was glad when the heroes finally make a stand but it certainly takes a while since the school is so bad most of the time. Forcing the heroes to change teams, not doing any investigating, etc.

Now, there are some twists and dynamics here but in the end I would not say that the school looked good. For example I did not like the principal Theodore all that much. Sure, he talked really tough and was ready to fight at all times but you have to do a whole lot more than that if you want to score a big win. When the going got tough and the villains attacked, he didn’t beat a single strong fighter. That’s a really bad look for a headmaster. He’s better than Lionheart but that’s really all that I can say for him here. Bravado without anything to back it up is basically pointless.

His secretary Rumpole also doesn’t look good. She’s at a high rank but doesn’t really know how to balance her time and lets her guard down too easily. She is skilled to be sure but ultimately tends to just get in the way the whole time. Some events later on help her make a bit of a recovery but ultimately she’s got some work to do for me to consider her to be a very strong character. Shade Academy loves to hype itself up as everyone in Vacuo is a resident tough guy but they don’t seem to be on the front lines when it counts.

As for Team CFVY, they are still the main characters even if they have to share with Sun’s team at times. So they get a lot to do and are reasonably solid. Coco has to go through a lot with her new team as not being the leader anymore is quite the experience. You can tell that she likes being leader and won’t take orders very well. She gets some solid fights here and ultimately takes control when necessary so I would give her a lot of credit here. She may not be my favorite RWBY character but I would say she did better here than in the first book.

Fox’s role is greatly reduced here but he still gets to have some action scenes here. Being blind is a great advantage in battles where everyone’s vision is gone due to the sandstorm always around. Fox ends up coming through for his team more than once so he’s still the MVP here. Without him the heroes would really be in trouble. He’s got more of a mean streak than the others and that’s always entertaining.

Velvet still has some issues with not being the leader and so she’s always trying to prove herself as a big fighter. Unfortunately this does lead to her being defeated multiple times but she does always get up. Velvet is a strong fighter after all so you won’t be keeping her down for very long. I’m glad about her enthusiasm but I would like to see her get a big win soon. In Volume 3 she was able to take down the Atlas robot because of how good her copy abilities were. She needs to tune into that and just take out her opponents.

Finally you have Yatsuhashi and he gets a big role here. After all, his ability to alter memories is really the perfect counter to mind control if you think about it. Just rewind to before they were controlled. It’s even easier in the book since just making contact with someone allows him to overwrite the control. He was definitely crucial here, no doubt about that. He’s often very quiet but I appreciate his loyalty towards helping Velvet. You can always count on him to show up.

As for Team SSSN, Sun gets a really big role here. As always he is dodging his responsibilities and tackling things solo the whole time. It’s always tended to work out for him like helping Blake and stopping Torchwick but his teammates still aren’t thrilled. This means he has no real time for them and doesn’t really want to talk about it either. Ultimately I was cool with that as Sun is more of a loner. He shouldn’t be the leader for sure but Ozpin’s the one who made that decision. I don’t think Sun would think twice about it if he was kicked out. He barely cared when they switched teams after all.

He ultimately still gets more done than the others because he is always running towards the action and doing his best to fight. What does hurt is that he looks so weak here. Remember that in the show he was overwhelming Torchwick who had been crushing Blake. Then he effortlessly defeated Ilya who had been going even with Blake. In the show Sun is shown to be a true powerhouse that people put on Yang’s level for a while there. In the book he looks like a complete weakling which also ends up making the rest of his moments look worse. That’s where the book made a mistake if you ask me. He should have been a lot more impressive and that would have helped make him more reasonable.

As for the other members, well Sage barely talks at all. You could write him out of the adventure entirely and barely notice the difference. He’s not happy about what Sun’s doing either but doesn’t really talk about it. Neptune’s with Scarlet on this but is more of a pushover so he just lets Sun toss him around. He has a sad moment where Team CFVY jumps him and then beats the poor guy up. Losing isn’t bad in itself but he was humiliated and threatened a lot. The guy even sold Sun out in the end. This book did not help Neptune’s case at all.

As for Scarlet, I thought he went out of his way to attack Sun a lot. He clearly took the whole thing the hardest so you do feel bad for him but he probably could have rebelled in a better way. I wouldn’t have minded seeing them fight, that could have been interesting. Ultimately Sun would usually let the insult slide though. Their dynamic should be interesting when they return in the show if there is still any tension between the characters.

As for the villains, there are two main ones here in Jax and Gillian. So Jax wants to rule Vacuo because he believes that it’s his birthright so he should rule over everyone. His semblance is pretty good since he can mind control people. He can’t fight very well directly though and that’s where his sister comes in. Gillian can use her abilities to drain someone’s aura or give it to someone else. So together they can mind control people and then give them extra abilities. With extra aura you remain invincible from opposing attacks for a longer period of time which is really handy. As a result they make for a very dynamic duo in combat here.

Gillian appears as the more reasonable character the whole time. Ultimately she will follow whatever Jax says but she knows when to run away. Then you have Jax who figures that he can just keep on fighting and lose like a hero but it’s far better to escape and fight another day than to just lose like that. He wasn’t the best villain but I did think that this plot made for a more urgent one than in the first book. After all this is a full invasion this time with a ton of villains taking part. It wasn’t just your average fight and it was also a good way to finish up the plotline with the characters wondering if they could have done more in the first invasion. This was their chance to save a kingdom instead of letting it fall. (Not that there’s more that they could have done the first time. They’re just really hard on themselves about it)

Aside from the two main villains you’ve also got Umber who was a solid foot soldier. Her ability to freeze her opponents in place was extremely handy. After all if you can’t move then you can’t fight back. There aren’t many fighters who have a semblance that can counter this. I assume if you are strong enough then you may be able to break free but there’s no guarantee.

Then you have the villains from the last book. Carmine is still running around and causing as much trouble as always. You have to respect her dedication here, she just never gives up and always looks good in a fight. She crushes Coco here and shows that she is one of the more versatile villains around. Bertilak shows up as well but since he was betrayed last time, he isn’t really doing very well when the heroes see him here. He never lost his confidence though and heads off for revenge so maybe he will appear again at some point. There’s certainly more that you can do with this guy.

Ultimately these two books may not have made Team CFVY jump up the charts all that much but it’s nice for their fans that they got these two adventures. Additionally, a lot of random students from the background got some roles here like Olivia. Good luck remembering all of their names but if they ever get big roles in the TV show, now you will have more context on their abilities and personalities which is always handy. It helps expand the universe which is always good. There was also just a lot of action in this book and I’m always up for that. Maybe one day we’ll get an animated adaption of the novels, that would certainly be cool.

Overall, Before the Dawn is a solid follow up to the first novel. It felt like every plot line was addressed and the characters are all in a better place now. They’ve finally been able to come to terms with everything that happened and got to hone their skills. Everyone should get along a lot better at Shade Academy now and they will be ready for the future adventures. I’m definitely ready for the third book now. It might be a little while before I get to check that one out since the library doesn’t have it yet but I’ll be waiting. I definitely recommend reading this one in the meantime.

Overall 7/10

RWBY: After the Fall Review


I rented this book many months ago but it was hard to find the time to check it out. Well, I finally got to red the book and it’s always nice to have some more RWBY adventures. I’m personally not a big fan of Team CFVY, never have been since they got humiliated over in the tournament but I suppose this was the chance to explore their characters. They get a lot of development and we also get to see more of their abilities this time but I’m still not sold on any of the characters. I don’t think they’re ready to contend with the kind of threats that team RWBY goes after.

The main plot has the team heading over to the Vacquo desert after receiving a distress call. They save an old lady named Slate from a monster and then head into the village. The issue is that the Grimm keep on attacking the settlements. Peoples emotions are also going crazy for some reason and these events have been attributed to “Mood Bombs” The heroes have to figure out what is causing this to occur while also staying unified as a solid group. One of the more difficult aspects of this is that their teamwork has never been the greatest before now. Throw in their tempers and the mission will get a lot more dangerous.

Vacquo is a region that hasn’t gotten to appear much in the main series so this was also a chance for the book to flesh it out a bit. It’s also fitting because the next RWBY volume may be taking place there so the book is like a preview. We already know some of the lore like how most people don’t want to live here and everyone ends up being a loner but it’s good to see this place first hand. In the book we clearly see how the desert is super dangerous since there’s nowhere to hide when a Grimm inevitably shows up. Even without the mood bombs going off, you know that Grimm will eventually appear.

Between chapters the book will also give you some flashbacks for the characters. We see their point of view when they met up with the main cast in volume 2, their point of view during initiation from a year before volume 1, Velvet and Blake have a conversation on why Velvet’s always getting bullied, etc. They even helped out with the dance festival a bit. While you may just be waiting to get back to the main plot sometimes, it was nice seeing the familiar faces like Ruby and friends in the flashback so that part was nice.

The book’s a pretty decent length at close to 300 pages so there’s a lot that goes on here. There are quite a few new characters as well and the plot has a good amount of twists and turns. How good it is will depend on if you’re able to follow this team for a while. While I’m not the biggest fan, they did hold the book up well enough. We also get some quality fight scenes so that’s always fun.

As the leader a lot of responsibility is put onto Coco at all times which is part of the tension here. The other members aren’t always crazy about Coco giving out the shots and they aren’t afraid to say so. It’s also fair to say that she probably isn’t even the strongest member of the 4. I think that would have to go to Yatsuhashi. The others do need to realize that Coco was the best bet though as none of them would really fit in the leader role. Coco certainly makes her share of mistakes as things go on but all in all she tries her best and that’s what counts. Coco’s still learning and should get better as her adventures continue.

Then we have Velvet who is the nice member of the group but I’ve definitely got some more issues with her. Now, I cut everyone some slack on account of the mood bombs with how they attack each other but my issue with Velvet is that she’s too passive. For example, she actively allows herself to be bullied while at the school. Keep in mind that she could quite easily beat up just about any of the students who mess with her. We get a flashback where Blake has to step in and save Velvet, then Velvet still defends her inaction. She tries to say that it’s just easier to allow herself to be bullied so the bullies won’t go after anyone else. She also hopes to stop violence with peace.

Perhaps these are nice sentiments but it’s not the right way to go. Now, to an extent I think this is the novel trying to explain away the really early scene in the show where we see Velvet being bullied by the weak students at the class. I suspect this was before she was planned to be one of the year 2 powerhouses. So this is sort of an excuse for that scene but I would have just not acknowledged it. It exists though and the book double downs on it so Velvet ends up being the biggest pushover in the series. That’s not the kind of character I can get behind. Velvet really needs to toughen up and soon.

Then we have Fox and I didn’t even realize he was blind in the show. His role was extremely small though so I think that’s a fair reason for not noticing. The show delves into how tough it is to fight while blind and how he gets around it. His ability to use telepathy is certainly handy and by the end I would say he was the best character. He has a lot of witty dialogue and isn’t afraid to call the other characters out. By sensing his opponent’s position, he can get past his weakness of not being able to see. You feel like he had to put in a ton of work to get to where he is so that’s impressive.

Finally you have Yatsyhashi and his memory alteration ability. More specifically, he can cause you to forget things. It’s definitely a power that you have to use carefully as it can easily be something that villains end up using at will. His origin story is delved into here and we see that he did make a big mistake with it once. Now he is really cautious about using the power at all. Fortunately he is quite powerful even without that semblance so he is still able to protect his friends. He is also able to block the mood bomb far better than any of the other characters since he controls his emotions well.

So the characters have their moments and the only one I have significant issues with is Velvet. The other characters are decent but I just don’t find them too interesting even after reading the book. They get to clown on both Weiss and Ruby in the flashbacks to show why this team is so much better but of course I wasn’t buying that. If it was a fight then things would go pretty differently. Maybe they can finally get a role in the next show volume. Since these 4 are attending Shade Academy, you’d expect them to appear at least.

As for the antagonists, Bertilak and Carmine were both solid. They appear as corrupt Huntsman/Huntress at first and then continue to go downhill from there in terms of how they’re not exactly heroes. They have a bit of a good cop and bad cop routine going. Bertilak doesn’t give the main characters any respect and is always badmouthing them. Meanwhile you have Carmine who talks and acts really nice to the heroes but is still hanging out with Bertilak and not exactly going against him so….you have to keep that in mind. I imagine it is a tough situation for her as well but she could do more.

I did like these two characters though. Bertilak’s a tough fighter and he does have a lot of confidence in himself. It’s easy to see how he has survived so long in the world of Remnant. His fire semblance is also very handy in a fight. Carmine was good as well. Even if her pleasantness may not be genuine, she at least knows how to connect with the characters and get them to lower their guards. Her ability is also solid involving the wind. It’s hard to say what her semblance was exactly from the fight but it was definitely useful and a threat to the others right from the jump.

For the settlement characters there were 3 main ones. Slate was the unofficial leader and while she may be old, she does a good job of leading the troops and keeping morale high. That in itself is always a good trait for a leader. She was decent enough. Then there’s the old man Edward who used to be a tough fighter back in his day but he’s old now and his mind is slowly leaving him. This does make the situation rather difficult as he’ll randomly start walking away or zoning out. It’s certainly really frightening for his grandson Gus who isn’t sure how to really handle this. I wasn’t really a fan of both characters even if there’s not a whole lot they could have done to make things better. I do think their plan was not very good from the start though.

As a final note, we got to see Ozpin being shady as always. Calling in Velvet alone right after a heartbreaking mission where everyone died seemed rather harsh. This way she had nobody to rely on. Of course his reasoning was that he could definitely get an accurate story this time with no interference but the timing was rather abrupt. You also feel like Coco should have been called in as the leader instead. I was glad when the rest of the team burst in to protest against this.

Overall, After the Fall is a pretty good book. Alternating between flashbacks and the main story was a good way to give the characters a lot of development while also providing us with some action and real stakes in the present. Even if I would rather be reading about Ruby and friends, I understand the reasoning behind using these characters instead since it could be a very long time before they get the spotlight in the show if that ever even happens in the future. For all we know there just won’t be any time for that but I am hoping they could return for a fight. If you’ve only watched the show then their team has never beaten a real (Non-Grimm) opponent in the series which is unfortunate since they’re supposed to be one of the top teams around. I’ll definitely be reading the next book sooner than later.

Overall 7/10

RWBY Review


RWBY may be the greatest TV show of all time but I hadn’t gotten around to checking out too many of its other media endeavors before now. I played a few of the games which were mostly all solid and have read the manga titles but not the comics yet. Well, it was time to check this one out from the library and it is definitely a fun read. It’s nice to see what the characters were up to around volumes 3-5 with a lot of stories spread in throughout different time frames. It’s a fun way to see more of Team RWBY.

So there are 14 issues in the comic, you’ve got the intro and epilogue, then each character gets 3 stories. The intro is really a quick catchup for people who may not be too familiar with the franchise. We get a recap of what happened in the first few volumes and where the characters are at currently. There’s not much to say about this story but I think it does cover all of the big events well enough where you should be able to follow along well enough.

The first RWBY story splits itself between present and past. It starts the collection off with a bang because it has my single favorite scene in the collection. In the present Ruby and team Jaune manage to defeat a bunch of Hollow wasps and we see how far she has come. It’s a good segment and I always like a good action scene. In the past segment Ruby is still torn up about losing Summer so Yang tries to cheer her up by lying about a lot of great things Summer has done.

It’s all well intentioned but the problem with stories that are fake is that it leads to Ruby being crushed when she finds this out. How does she find this out? Raven decided to fly over and start tearing these lies to shreds while also badmouthing Summer. This just comes out of nowhere to the point where it’s funny. It’s so exaggerated that you think Ruby is dreaming but it was all real. On a more serious note, it does show that Raven was watching over Yang at least to the point of being around the house on a regular basis which was cool. It adds a little development to their relationship and maybe Raven is more of a caring parent than she lets on.

The second Ruby story involves the team heading to a village that won’t let them in because the people believe that all huntsmen are evil after the events of volume 3. As a result they are isolated when fighting the grimm and it isn’t going well. Ruby and co. fend the grimm off and Ruby gives them a stern lecture. I remember her speech made a lot of waves because people said it was too harsh and seemed out of character. I think it seems harsh because of how the art makes Ruby look extremely angry at these people. The actual speech isn’t too bad, admittedly it is hard to picture Ruby lecturing them to this extent though. It’s another solid story though with good action and a realistic look at how some villages would have treated the heroes. It’s nice to see the call backs and references to volume 3 since the tournament was on tv so a lot of people would have seen it.

Ruby’s final story has her take a walk through a garden as she deals with all of the friends she has lost up til now. The bird gives her a pep talk and it all seems to just be an illusion caused by the magical garden. It’s the most low key of her stories. It’s a good way to wrap up her stories here and she had to deal with the feelings of loss at some point. It may not stand up to the other stories but it’s not really supposed to.

The first Yang story has her go help an old lady with her harden and other miscellaneous tasks. At first she resents this because she figures Tai only did this to patronize her. Later on she thinks that maybe there is a prize waiting for her and this was a test. Ultimately it was neither one of those things and Yang realizes that he is just treating her normally which is what she wanted. Yang may not look great here but she is coming off a traumatic incident so it makes sense. It’s low key but a decent story.

The second Yang story actually shows us the aftermath of Yang ditching Ruby in episode 2. It was nice to see Tai confront her about this because while it worked out and was more of a gag than anything else, it was a bit distressing for Ruby. The issue has Yang overcorrect the whole time by being really clingy to everyone until Blake helps to set her straight. It’s a fun issue and really shows how Yang can mean well and still go way too far the whole time. It’s probably the most light hearted comic in the bunch and fits her personality well.

The final Yang story has her thinking about the morals from the first two as she continues to search for Ruby and Raven. She’s confronted by a biker gang member which turns out to be a big mistake on his part. She beats him while also trying to teach him the lessons she learned but of course it’s hard to just get someone to learn that straight off the bat. It doesn’t work but the rest of the bandits know not to mess with her after that. It’s another fun story and while the bandit never stood a chance, it’s always fun to see Yang getting more wins.

The first Blake story deals with how she first met Adam…so you can probably sense some retroactive retcons coming in. Adam is one of those characters that is strongly disliked in universe as well as out of it. While he was a very nuanced character initially that is not the case in the present and this comic makes it seem like he was insane from the beginning. He cries and also revels in how many humans he murders. I’d say he was out of character the entire issue and it also makes Blake look worse because suddenly she knew he was crazy from the start but stayed with him anyway. This would have to be the weakest story in the collection because I have a hard time buying any of this. It’s nice to see more of Blake growing up since we don’t know as many details on her past but Adam just doesn’t seem consistent.

The second Blake story is about her finally confiding in her mother about why she was so nervous to come back home and how she ditched her friends. Her mom consoles her about this and reminds her that she’s always welcome there. It’s effectively an expansion to her coming home moments in the show. It’s a good emotional read but is probably the second weakest story in the bunch. What are the odds that Blake would have the weakest stories right? She’s always been my least favorite RWBY member (Although she started out great in the first two volumes) and her volume 4 plot didn’t help matters. I suppose even the comics couldn’t make this part more interesting.

The final Blake story has her and Sun save a group of travelers from some Grimm. That’s when she realizes that one family she recognizes from her days with Adam when he murdered one of them. She decides to come clean about this much to Sun’s horror and allows the mother a chance for revenge. The traveler decides not too since she doesn’t want to continue the cycle of violence. It’s another decent emotional story and I’d say it beats the first two. I do think Blake put herself in a tricky spot here since if the mom wanted vengeance then what? Blake has a lot of responsibilities at this point so she can’t just let herself die. Hopefully she would have split or volunteered to help out from time to time or something.

The first Weiss story takes place in early volume 1 as we see a bit of rivalry between her and Cardin. Cardin was basically insulting everyone as usual and showing off but this time he went after Weiss and she wasn’t having that. So she humiliates him in the next round and everyone is thrilled about it except for Blake who thinks it went too far. I was not on Blake’s side in this one though. Weiss didn’t cheat and simply beat Cardin. She used her abilities to trick him but it was all technique. I understand you don’t want to always go for revenge but Cardin really makes everyone’s lives miserable. Maybe he would think twice after this. It was super nostalgic seeing everyone back in their volume 1 costumes. I’d say this was one of the stronger stories.

The second Weiss story has her and Willow go on a hunt. It’s one of the rare times Weiss has to bond with her but then she gets stabbed in the back as Willow claims the credit. Willow’s personality here is certainly interesting. She is still drunk as always but instead of being hopeless she seems to have a very fake sense of happiness? Like she’s completely faking it but doing a decent job of it. I was not expecting her to betray Weiss like that either. It’s easy to see why Weiss does not trust her family at all after this. It was a good story as it leaves you just as confused as Weiss at why Willow acts the way that she does. Definitely makes for a toxic relationship.

The final Weiss story is one of the highlights of the collection. She decides to finally have a big act of defiance against the family before leaving and she does so by freeing a bunch of Faunus and animals from the estate. She even has to fight Willow to pull this off and naturally wins that battle. It was a good way to show how Weiss has developed and will defend herself now. She has come a very long way from her old self and the comic captures that. Seeing her summons in action is always cool.

The epilogue story is wholesome as we see each character gear up in the present and a few more moments from when they were kids. I think the scene of Willow finally standing up to Jacques may be a bit early since in the show she never takes a stand like that but the book probably wanted that to cinematically close out Weiss’ part. It’s not really a big deal either way and you close the book feeling good. It was a solid choice to end the collection with.

Really my only issue is that the artwork’s not very good and is even bad in some instances. Personally it just didn’t match the artstyle of the show very well and was going for more of a water paint kind of look that just isn’t as streamlined as it could have been otherwise. A smoother and more colorful artstyle would have been perfect for a RWBY adventure like this. It’s not awful or anything though with characters usually staying on model. The quality writing keeps this up anyway.

Overall, This was a fun collection. The scene with Raven badmouthing Summer has to stand out as the best in the whole thing. That was just a blast. The art may not really be my thing but the writing is solid enough where I can get past that. It’s just great to see the gang again and I look forward to checking out more RWBY comics in the future. There are a whole lot of stories you could tell in this universe that there wouldn’t be time to expand on in the show. Hopefully the franchise continues to expand.

Overall 7/10

RWBY Volume 8 Review


It’s always great to have RWBY back in action because the world of entertainment just isn’t the same without it. RWBY is the greatest show of all time and Volume 8 continues to operate on that high level. The show just has the perfect blend of action, story, and excellent musical themes to accompany the scenes. Throughout the season it’s always fun to watch reactions and learn new things about the show through interviews and such. There’s just a lot to take in and you can bet like last year I’ll have a few editorials for the show up before the next volume ends. Lets dive into Volume 8 and what it added into the table. Keep in mind this review is meant to be read after you have seen the show as it will go into a detailed discussion of important plot details

The show starts off with the heroes still in a dangerous spot. They are currently on the run from Ironwood and the Aceop’s but ultimately they do have more leverage since Penny is now the Winter Maiden. Ironwood orders the heroes to give her back or he will be forced to take drastic measures. Meanwhile Salem has finally arrived and intends to destroy Atlas while obtaining the next relic which is the staff of creation. Team RWBY is also having some issues among their team with each person wanting to try a different plan. Ruby wants to go with Ironwood’s initial plan of getting Amity Tower up to try and contact people around the world to help out while Yang wants to prioritize saving Mantle first. They’ll need to split up which is dangerous.

Naturally quite a lot happens along the way from there. So lets take things one step at a time. The first half of the season deals a lot with a new villain called The Hound. It’s a powerful Grimm to be sure and it was really giving the heroes a hard time. It’s got a cool design and I like the concept behind it. I would argue that Team RWBY shouldn’t have had as much trouble with it as they did though or team Yang when the Hound embarrassed them in the first skirmish though. Ordinarily I’d expect Yang to have taken the creature out pretty quickly but they ended up freezing for a little too long. With this Hound out of the way I expect Salem to be bringing in more of them soon. Potentially at least different Hound variations for Summer and Hazel.

We also get Cinder’s backstory at long last. It’s a play on the Cinderella fairy tale but a much darker twist. Cinder was effectively a slave working for a rich family that would torment her with a shock collar for quite a while. Eventually she was able to harness her abilities and escape but not before having to murder a huntsman as well. It was a pretty intense origin story to be sure and had one of the most impressive tracks in the season. Interestingly that song is one that already existed as opposed to most RWBY songs debuting in the volume they appear in. Cinder’s backstory shows that she didn’t quite start out being as evil as she is now but that certainly escalated quickly.

Rhodes really helped push her to the next level here since he was very quick to attack her. I would have to put pretty much all of the blame from the origin story on him. He knew about all the crazy things that were being done to Cinder or at least it would be hard to miss since they spent so much time together. Additionally he was telling her to be careful and such so he had an idea that things were dangerous but he never tried to help her out. Escaping with her or something like that would have solved the issue but instead he just trained her and told her to wait a few years. Ultimately she did try to wait but one day the family caught her with the swords so she had no way out. He was also the first one to draw his weapons and prepare to attack after this.

In the current story Cinder’s certainly an absolute villain and an unrepentant one so since then she has clearly taken it to heart that she needs absolute power. We can see why she is always trying to get stronger now. Her role in this season is really good. While she does have a rep for taking quite a few losses over the years she has also earned quite a lot of great wins. Up until now she has beaten Pyrrha, Ozpin, Winter, Jaune, and a whole lot of other fighters. I would say that she has certainly earned the amount of hype that she has gotten and is still one of the best characters in the show.

Another big event in the season is Salem finally arriving. We are 8 volumes into the show so this was definitely a big deal. Everyone is always very afraid of Salem but we’ve always had to wonder exactly why. The Maidens are incredibly powerful after all. It was hinted that the reason everyone fears Salem is because she is immortal but would there be more to it than that? So far it doesn’t appear so. I would make the case that right now Salem really isn’t all that impressive. Of course she will have plenty of time to show off more of her abilities soon since I don’t see her going away anytime soon. I still think Cinder will ultimately be the one to take her down though in a big betrayal scene.

Salem dies here and we find out that she has been destroyed several times by Hazel. Due to her immortality she is able to regenerate pretty quickly though so it’s only a minor setback. She showed some decent speed in the fight before going down, but as of right now I would still take any of the Maidens over her in a fight. Salem’s a fun villain though. She may not be quite as interesting as Neo or Cinder but as an immortal leader of the Grimm it’s nice how she manipulates the other villains so well. She also got a pretty tragic backstory a while back so you can potentially see why she wants the relics. We don’t know for sure yet of course but in theory she will want to bring the gods back so she can try to wipe them out or so they can wipe out the planet.

This volume introduced some pretty interesting new angles since we now know what the staff of creation can do. It can create pretty much anything although at the expense of something else. So now you have to start asking yourself some questions because it seems like this could easily destroy Salem. Create a box filled with fire or holes where you can put weapons in and keep destroying her over and over again, have her fall into the endless void. Well, the void leads to another realm seemingly so that might not do the trick but if that place isn’t connected to the main world that would be interesting. Finally, just open one of the vaults, throw her in and then close it again. Presumably if she could open a vault then she wouldn’t be searching so hard for the Maidens. None of these plans would be all that easy but this is why Salem needs more than just immortality. To recover from her showing this volume she’s going to need to go all in during the next volume.

Ironwood gets a big role in this volume as you would expect. After all, in the last volume he and RWBY really differed on their approaches on how to do things. He even went as far as to shoot Ozpin so he wouldn’t get in his way anymore. He went from being a fairly unremarkable character to completely stealing Volume 7 and helping to escalate it to the second best volume of the series. Well, it seems like his approach may have went too well. This volume decides to take him to the extreme of being a complete villain filled with ominous backgrounds like in his TV broadcast to suddenly just shooting people for not much of a reason.

Now you could say part of this is his semblance but despite being confirmed on a writer’s zoom call, I don’t put much stock in it. Ultimately there is no visual or audio queue to the semblance in the show and it is never referenced so for all intents and purposes it just does not exist. What seems to have happened here is that they wrote Ironwood too well as a morally gray character to the point where a lot of people were rooting for him. You’d look online and almost nobody was supporting Team RWBY in their debates against him.

The main reason for this is really that Ironwood at least had a plan but whenever Team RWBY was asked for specifics they didn’t seem to know what to do next. That happens in this volume as well when Mantle is being attacked so one of the Happy Huntsmen shows up to tell them it’s time to evac but Ruby insisted on staying. When they pointed out that they have been getting wrecked by the normal Grimm and the numbers are about to multiply Ruby didn’t have an answer except a vague “We’ll get through this”. Not having a plan is always the quickest way to lose support. It’s similar to a debate that happened in Attack on Titan although there we still have the gray character staying that way.

Maybe it was always the plan for Ironwood to go totally off the rails but I do feel it’s more likely that the writers saw how a ton of people were rooting for him and knew they needed to weaken his case quickly or people wouldn’t be happy with Ruby and co. So in this volume Ironwood is just straight up evil most of the time but he’s still a fun character to have around. He’s a little on the gullible side at times but at the end of the day he’s still a fighter. His battle with Winter is really solid and really cements him as one of the strongest characters in the series. To think, at one point he was considered the heavy underdog in that battle. Personally I think there’s still a decent chance he is alive. His ending was intentionally rather vague with no body shown so it’s not beyond the pale to say that he would have escaped. I doubt Watts would be as lucky though.

Ruby gets a solid role here. She does lose her will to fight at one point again but it is a pretty tough time for the team. At this point Weiss would probably be the best option for the leader as she’s gone through the most and has really matured into being a character everyone can count on. She’ll always support Ruby though so the team is in good hands. Ruby’s speed also makes her a very capable opponent in any fight. I look forward to her getting to fight more in the next volume. Here she may have mostly just taken losses but when up against foes like Neo and Cinder that is to be expected.

Weiss is great as always. She may be a little hard on Whitley but it’s hard to just get over something like that with what she had to put up with over the years. I’m glad that we’re seeing her use her glyphs more in combat now like the old days. If she keeps that up I could see her potentially becoming the strongest member of the team since those abilities are just so versatile. There’s a lot you can do with glyphs from gravity control to elemental attacks. Then she always has her summons available too.

Yang has a lot to do here since she gets her own solo quest and also has the task of cheering up Ruby. I would have liked her to have fought more in the climax but it also makes perfect sense that the villains would try to take her out of play right away. If you take out the strongest hero on the team that will always be the safest path to victory. She has to be the mediator quite a lot in this volume since Ren also deals with some issues here.

Blake gets to fight the Hound and has some good blows in the finale as well. Her role here is quite solid. She may not have quite as many individual moments as the other 3 but she did just have her big volume with Adam back in 6 so that makes sense. She still makes the most of her moments although she absolutely needs a new weapon soon. I still say she should use Adam’s sword since that would be cool but either way she has come a long way from her early days on the team and isn’t really a loner anymore. I expect she’ll be getting more hype battles in the next volume.

Jaune’s role here is small for the most part but he’s low-key a very solid leader. He knows how to handle each character and add moral support. He’s just a very well rounded character but I have to admit that I heavily disagreed with his choice at the end of the volume. Effectively Penny asks Jaune to murder her to that Cinder won’t be able to do so. The idea is that you die when you are killed so this can Penny can control who she gives the maiden powers to. I’m pretty surprised that she didn’t give the powers to Ruby to be honest but maybe she knew Winter was going to need those abilities more. Jaune just shouldn’t have obliged her in this case. By stabbing her like that he was basically conceding defeat to the villains and admitting that there was no way out. There’s always a better way and he should have just fought til the bitter end.

I have to say this was a very weak volume for Ren though. He looks pretty bad the whole time. Ren started his path of panicking ever since last volume but here it gets worse as he intentionally attacks each character using their pasts like Jaune and Yang while not actually contributing to the situation. It looks like he’s getting back to his usual self by the end of the volume so he should do better next volume but he was easily one of the worst characters here. Nora does a lot better as she is also attacked with feelings of self doubt but just pushes through them and helps the heroes as much as she can. Now that she is close to fully recovered I expect to see her fighting more soon.

Penny is a character I’ve never been a huge fan of. Her super cheerful persona isn’t a bad thing per say as I still like characters like that but I guess she just felt hollow. I don’t know, I got more from her in the first few volumes before her first death. It’s quite ironic that she was brought back only to die again although a lot of people did suspect this would be the case. At least she got to briefly wield the powerful abilities of a Maiden. I’ll still take her over Oscar/Ozpin though. I’m still waiting for Ozpin to betray the heroes but at this point I’m not sure if he could. Part of the issue for Ozpin is that he has not done very well at all against Salem over the last thousand years. Evidently he’s not as great a tactician as he thinks he is. He really accomplished nothing over many years which is why so many people left him. It looks like he is trying to do better this time but I have my doubts.

Oscar’s at least trying his hardest but every time he uses magic, the two of them fuse even more so at this point I wonder if Oscar still exists. Is he still really separate or at this point are they basically the same character? I could see the next volume delving into that a bit more. The AceOps are all still here of course but you could make the case that Harriet is the only one with a real role. She is the most extreme of the group and the only one who is ready to listen to Ironwood without hesitation. While the others are portrayed more as following orders, I would say Harriet goes into full villain mode. She just wants to blow everyone up as part of the mission so she fits in with Ironwood.

I like her as a villain though. She keeps the heroes on their toes and having super speed is such an incredible semblance to have. Aside from Ruby’s which has super speed as well as flight, I don’t think there’s any other semblance I would take over that one. It’s just way too good. The fact that she was dunking on Qrow is still solid even if the guy can’t catch a break lately. Qrow went from being one of the best characters in the series to fading fast. Qrow was fantastic in Volume 3, Excellent in Volume 4, and then I liked him quite a lot in Volume 5. The cracks in his armor began to show a bit as he had trouble with Lionheart but you could attribute that to animation. Fine, I can accept that.

Volume 6 Qrow was brutal though. He was so lost in his own misery and apathy that he nearly let Ruby and Yang die right under his nose. That would have happened without him doing a single thing about it. His depression just held him back real hard and when mixed with the fact that he seems to have been extremely nerfed, it’s not a good look for him. Losing to Harriet is just yet another loss to the mix and since Ruby was winning/put up a way better fight…that’s not good for him. I’m hoping he can make a comeback because he needs it.

Now Winter is a character who looks really good here. I’m not really a fan of when characters just follow rules even if they are evil ones. It can be a bit much or when a character goes against the rules but does so too late. Here Winter ultimately made a stand before that happened and then stood up to Ironwood. Since that goes against everything she had been working towards, I can appreciate her resolve and drive to stay on the path. I think she’ll make for a fantastic Winter Maiden as well and look forward to her going up against the villains more soon. It’ll be a tough matchup against Cinder though with the whole fire vs ice thing but if anyone can pull it off, Winter can.

Emerald also gets a considerable role here as she finally joins the heroes’ side. It’s definitely been a long time coming. Originally she was the pure evil one while Mercury was the guy questioning if this was the right path like in Volume 2 when Emerald was having a blast watching people get eaten by the Grimm while Mercury didn’t seem happy. That changed in Volume 3 as Mercury began to revel in the misery while Emerald no longer enjoyed it. Her only real tie here was to Cinder the whole time and Cinder really treats her poorly so the other side would definitely sound better. Now, if Cinder comes back asking Emerald to join her, will she stay strong or defect again? Personally I think Emerald’s a hero to stay now. She may end up dying for it but I think she may get to live through her redemption arc. If Mercury goes for a similar position, I don’t think he’ll survive as the guy has a lot of death flags written all over him.

Meanwhile Hazel finally got his big ending here. I was never a big fan of the guy personally, just because he’s ultimately working for the lady who murdered his sister. He blames Ozpin for sending her on a suicide mission and yes that’s fair, but how can you work for the one who ultimately orchestrated her death? Hazel would make a lot more sense as a third party kind of villain. Still, he eventually saw the light and I have 0 complaints about the way he went out. Hazel ultimately went out on his own terms and you can’t really do much better than that. Again, we don’t see his body so he may be alive but with Salem right there at best he can hope to be a living grimm or something but death would probably be preferable for him.

For Robyn there’s nothing much to say. You may still be confused why she is in the show since she’s had close to 0 impact on the entire franchise. Well…maybe next volume will be when she finally pops off. I have my doubts personally but she has to have been kept alive for a reason right? Watts had a solid volume as well. I like him as a charismatic villain. He may not go into the field a whole lot but the guy has guts to talk to Cinder the way that he did. I can respect that and while he may have ultimately been manipulated, I don’t think he would have had much of a way to escape anyway.

Finally there’s Neo who is always fun. I’ve always considered her to be a demi maiden power-wise just because of how effortlessly she handled Yang back in the day and how she even had the upper hand against Cinder until she activated her maiden abilities. This volume continues to support that as she completely shattered Yang’s aura in a single hit (Surprise attacks don’t affect aura as far as we know so that’s still a power feat) and then she was handling both Blake and Ruby teaming up with ease. I really hope she doesn’t die anytime soon because I want to see her get some more action. Her moveset is just very unique and I like the fighting style. Ruby just needs to convince Neo that Cinder is more to blame for Torchwick’s death which is fair since it’s a Grimm that ate Torchwick. It’s not like Ruby did anything to cause that.

Now for the volume ending stinger, I think the safest bet is they’re now in some kind of lost pocket dimension that the gods built but forgot about. That’s probably why they were warned not to go there since it’s so desolate the whole time. It is for the best that the show quickly confirmed the team was alive though because I don’t think anyone ever thought they were really dead. Even if the show only kept Yang as the one who had fallen down, she’s just too important of a character to go down like that. If a member of RWBY dies it wouldn’t be until the last arc and even then I would be surprised to see it. It’ll be interesting to see what’s down there especially since Neo and Jaune are crashing the party. If Jaune gets a big power up that will definitely be cool to see.

In theory with the delays to this volume and all the next one probably won’t start until November but hopefully it debuts earlier since that would be great. At least in the meantime we should be getting the CD soon so the full music tracks will be online. We’ll see if the next volume has any animated shorts like the Adam special or if those are going to be gone for good. If it helps to speed up airing the season then it’s worth it I suppose but those are always a lot of fun.

Now lets compare the volumes. It’s always fun to update the rankings as each volume airs. Naturally Volume 3 is still the all time best if you ask me. It was the absolute peak of the series’ nonstop action along with the plot settling in. The stakes were raised immensely and you just could not change the channel. The second best volume would be 7. Ironwood was just developed into a fantastic character here and the battle with RWBY vs AceOps is still the best one in the series. Mix that in with one of the best OSTs and it’s hard to see this volume getting beat.

3rd place would be Volume 6. It’s a pretty close one but the Adam climax was a really powerful one to end the series on. Additionally, the Grim Reaper’s origin as well as the return of Neo are scenes that are hard to be beat. Bringing her back into the fold was a fantastic idea. It’s also when the new animation style really got going. 4th would be Volume 8. It was a great volume and we got to have the heroes make a comeback and take a big win. It’s been a while since they made any serious headway against the heroes so it was nice to see how they could coordinate here.

5th would go to Volume 5. I tend to waffle between this one and 2 a lot because it’s pretty close. I would say 2 probably had longer stretches of hype fights and action but 5 had the better climax. The Raven vs Cinder fight is just fantastic. The More the Merrier episode is probably the biggest missed opportunity in the show just because the setup was absolutely perfect with all of the battles going underway but then there wasn’t really any animation to them. Volume 5 will always be the most awkward volume for fights in that sense but the story beats were still right up there. 6th is Volume 2, the big Neo fight was hype as well as the battle with the Giant mech. I always liked seeing Torchwick in the focus as well and it’s just a volume that really holds up quite well.

7th would be Volume 1, where it all began. The climax with Torchwick is a lot of fun and it’s always easy to forget that at the time you could make a legitimate argument for Blake being the most powerful member of Team RWBY. She had more real life experience than the other 3 and even went on her own to fight Torchwick. It didn’t go well until Sun stepped in but it was a good effort. Last place would be Volume 4. A very solid volume to be sure since this is all relative by RWBY standards but there was a lot of info dumping here and not a lot of action. The Tyrian fight is really the only big battle in the volume until the final episode. Qrow vs Tyrian was worth it though as it’s still one of the best fights in the season but it just couldn’t keep up with the others.

So that’s the rankings for now. 3, 7, 6, 8, 5, 2, 1, 4. I imagine as I continue to revisit each volume that could change but the rankings are pretty solid. Really the closest ones that I can see changing is the middle group (6-2) but the top two and bottom two volumes would be pretty hard to move at this point. I imagine with the series in the middle of so many events all future volumes will be in a pretty good spot as well as they aim for the top. Can any possible dethrone 3 though?

As always the animation is top notch here. The character models are really smooth and I wonder why all CGI shows can’t look this sharp. I understand it’s now using MAYA technology as opposed to POSER from the first 3 volumes which is completely open software, but it should still be possible for professional studios. Yet, I have yet to see a CGI show look as good as RWBY. It really shows how talented the staff is to make this a reality.

The writing is excellent as well. While I have my share of complaints with how Ironwood was written into a villain, that’s a narrative choice more so than a writing flaw. They just wanted him to be as evil as possible. The episodes are all very engaging and you want to see what happens next. The soundtrack is also excellent. I wouldn’t say it matches 7 quite yet but I liked the theme that played during the snow chase with the hound as well as the one during Cinder’s origin. Every volume usually has at least 2 stand out themes and those would be the ones for me. I’m definitely looking forward to the CD coming out though since I’m hoping some of the normal episode themes also make it in since there are a few instrumental battle themes that also stood out like the one in the final episode.

There’s certainly always more to talk about but I’ll start wrapping it up here. There will be at least 2-3 editorials about RWBY before the next volume comes up so if there’s any big discussion topic I need to bring up I’ll certainly write something about it. The possibilities for going forward are definitely pretty endless. With Atlas down the villains are also one step closer to destroying all 4 of the kingdoms. Haven is all but destroyed, Beacon isn’t doing great, and Atlas is certainly over. Vacuo is the last place standing in full health and it’s less of a formal kingdom and more of a bandits lair type of place so that’ll be different anyway. That’s why I definitely want to see their reaction to all of this.

Overall, RWBY is definitely as great as ever. The toughest part here is going to be waiting for the next volume. Each volume continues to be excellent so I look forward to seeing what they’ve got coming up for Volume 9. Ideally I’d like to see Raven return and for Yang’s Dad to finally get a fight. As a member on such a powerhouse team that guy has got to be a good fighter. Then once we get the team back to the surface I’m expecting a lot of big battles for sure. It feels like we’re getting closer to the ultimate climax although I would still expect that not to happen until around Volume 11 or 12.

Overall 10/10

Which Anime/Studio has the best animation?

It’s been a little while since I did my last editorial so it’s time to finally get back with it. I’ve had this one in drafts for a bit. Animation is certainly a critical aspect for any show you’re watching. You can have the world’s best script but if the animation is terrible or sub par then it’s going to hurt the product. Likewise if an anime has stellar animation then even if the story and such isn’t great it can at least be visually exciting to watch. Some anime know how to make what would usually be standard dialogue really interesting with the visuals or general angle direction while others allow a show to just drag on. For example shows like Railgun and Dr. Stone have excellent direction while to this day I would say Naruto Shippuden’s is pretty weak where it actually succeeds in making parts of the war not very eventful.

I’ve broken this down into a few categories though to tackle some of the nuance for animation. In general I consider hand drawn to be the absolute best. When in doubt always go for traditional hand drawn because you can’t go wrong there. The next tier would be CGI. CGI is at its best when it is supporting hand drawn such as the auras in Dragon Ball Super or many of the attacks in Fate Stay Night. When you blend it together it can look amazing but when the whole show is CGI…it usually can’t keep to the same standard. Your final resort is flash animation. You’re very limited with this style but of course that makes it all the more impressive when you can nail down a good fight. Teen Titans Go for example is a show that manages to have a good fight once in a blue moon. Don’t even get me started on claymation or such for a show though. Let’s….just not.

Best looking anime: One Punch Man

While this is a pretty easy pick for me it’s fairly relative. I would consider shows like Fate Stay Night, Sword Art Online, and Railgun to also be at a really high level like this. Part of what helps One Punch though is that it’s only 12 episodes though and each episode is just at such an insanely high level. Madhouse deserves the props for this one. They grabbed a whole lot of talent for this show and it really shows. Whether you pick a fight like Genos vs Saitama, Boros vs Saitama, or really any fight in the season it looks incredible. It’s hard to see a show beating this one outright but animation is something that is always improving so I certainly would not count it out. For something like this that’s tech based there is always something ready to surpass you at any moment.

Best animation company: Ufotable

So when I’m talking best animation here, I’m thinking about what company comes to mind first when I’m thinking of a bunch of incredibly solid looking anime. Ufotable may not have nearly the extensive resume as other companies like Pierrot, Toei, and J.C. Staff but the shows/movies they do churn out tend to look amazing. Just look at Fate and Demon Slayer. They consistently make waves with how good looking the products are and they keep it up for the whole run. You can tune in to any episode of Fate and expect the same high quality animation. There are no episodes that look bad or off model. That’s very impressive. There’s always a lot of attention to detail so every little movement adds up and it flows together like very few anime can match.

Favorite animation company: Studio Pierrot

All right, so what do I mean by favorite? Well, Pierrot I would say is the strongest company. Not only do they have incredible animation but they do it for incredibly long running shows. Bleach, Yu Yu Hakusho, and then recently Black Clover are great examples of this. Sure, an individual level may not be able to quite reach Ufotable and it’s hard to take down One Punch from Madhouse, but the shows above are 12-26 episodes. These three shows from Pierrot are over 100 episodes and they look excellent. I know Clover gets a lot of shots fired for its animation for some reason but the fights tend to all be rather top tier. To date there’s only one big fight where I didn’t care for the animation and in that case they were experimenting with a different style that didn’t clique but it’s not like they got lazy or anything.

You can watch pretty much any Bleach fight right now and they all hold up amazingly. Yu Yu Hakusho’s fights still have a lot of impact to them and Black Clover has a lot of energy. This is why Pierrot’s always been my favorite company. They always turn up when they need to and I think it takes a special skillset to really handle these kinds of long running anime. It’s just very difficult and seeing as how these three are some of the best looking anime I’ve seen for 100+ titles then it stands to reason that Pierrot can make a case for being the best company. I won’t put them as the best, but they’re certainly my favorite.

Most up and down animation: J.C. Staff

I thought about Studio Deen for this one since they also get a lot of shots fired but I actually haven’t seen a whole lot from them. What I have seen (Original FSN and Orphen 2020) have been pretty solid. Particularly Orphen 2020 which had a lot of dynamic moments. So J.C. Staff would be my main pick for this one. Mainly because at their best when they have time they tend to churn out some phenomenal titles. I don’t think it’s even debatable that Railgun S and T look amazing. The first season was quality as well and to date I’ve always really liked the very first Railgun from the original Index season a lot. Then you have some of the more recent titles where they’ve had a bit of a tough time like parts of Index III, Accelerator, and One Punch Season 2. So the first gif I’ve attached is the big rematch with Accelerator while below is more of a low key fight from an earlier season. I would make the case that the fight below looks better despite the one above being a lot more important narrative-wise. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad looking fight per say, but it would get destroyed by pretty much every Railgun S/T battle when it should be able to compete with those. Especially considering a character like Accelerator who has so many cool abilities as part of the vectors.

In these cases I would say it’s less about animation being bad/off model and more about just taking a lot of animation shortcuts. For example, instead of animating a full jump, zooming out so the character appears far. Effectively using less animation to get the same visual across. It’s noticeable but it’s not necessarily going to look really bad. There are many companies you could choose for worse animation but J.C. seems to work well for range since at their best they can keep up with anyone and at their worst you feel like they’re taking on too much work. They do seem to be taking a bigger workload than the other companies though. Just compare their history to the other anime companies I’ve already listed. It’s a huge section to sift through.

Worst looking anime Pop Team Epic

Keep in mind of course and this applies to all categories but I’m only considering anime I’ve seen. I wouldn’t be surprised if something like Berserk would go under this. From what I’ve seen Pop Team deserves this almost hands down. The only show close to it would be FLCL which also looks awful. That first season is borderline unwatchable…I mean the same is true for the sequels but at least the animation got better in those. So Pop Team has to take this. The fact that there is a ton of reused footage in every single episode just further reinforces my point. The show needed the bare minimum of animation and it couldn’t even pull that off. Of course it’s a style choice but that can also just be an excuse to not animate a whole lot. The styles keep changing throughout and yet it looks awful episode after episode. When recommend anime to anyone I can tell you that this would probably be my last choice.

Best looking CGI show- RWBY

RWBY is totally computer generated and you know I had to include RWBY in somewhere here right? The fact that Rooster Teeth has made this show so effectively on what is considered a fairly low budget makes me wonder why every other company struggles so hard with CGI? Clearly anime know how to use it well when fusing it with hand drawn but why is it so hard when a show is completely CGI? I don’t get it. It shouldn’t be so hard. Maybe time consuming short term but in the long run since your character models can adapt to the animation paths it should save you time I don’t see why it can’t be polished more. RWBY continues to show us what true solid animation is and it allows me to keep on hoping that one day CGI shows will all be held to this bar.

So that’s my roster for best looking animation for shows/companies. As you can probably see from my selections I do really enjoy traditional looking anime a lot. A lot of times the more “unique” and out of the box anime don’t work quite as well. Additionally I like striking colors. It’s why you probably wouldn’t see a lot of the more mainstream theater films making the list. For example movies like Your Name or even Digimon Tri tend to go for a more washed out look so there’s less color. Compare that to the show version like the original Digimon Adventure or Pokemon and the color is basically exploding off of the screen. More color is always a good thing and if you throw that in with seamless animation and colorful special abilities then you’re really in business. For that reason action shows will always have an edge over other titles because there is more that you can do to show off the animation. By that token in theory it should also be easier to see if a show is low budget though so high risk high reward. It’ll be interesting to see if any of the winners for the various categories change over the years but right now they all have a pretty strong position in the rankings.

10 Things that need to happen in RWBY Volume 8


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

1. Salem needs to have an onscreen fight scene

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

2. Finally get the full backstory for Summer

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

3. It’s time for Raven to return.

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

4. 1 villain should be taken out of the picture

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

5. Time to get an update on Vale

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

6. Ironwood can’t do a 180

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

7. Yang vs Neo rematch

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

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

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

9. Make Jaune’s team relevant

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

10. No off screen fights

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

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

RWBY Volume 7 Song Rankings


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

9. Let’s Get Real

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

8. Celebrate

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

7. Brand New Day

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

6. Touch The Sky

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

5. Until The End

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

4. Trust Love

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

3. Fear

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

2. Hero

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

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

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

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

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

Why Robyn is the most underwhelming RWBY character


It’s time to look at a recent RWBY character who made her debut in Volume 7. Robyn Hill got a lot of attention right when she was first confirmed to be appearing and then when in the theme song the brief shots we had of her involved a fight with Tyrian. Clearly she was going to be the next big powerhouse in the series and ideally she could take over where Adam left off. We needed a new third party to spice things up. Heroes and Villains make for a good dynamic but what really helps to make both sides more exciting is to have someone who’s looking after their own interests. Robyn is certainly more of a hero than a villain, but she is quite willing to go against the heroes if it means she will be helping her people. Unfortunately the volume really didn’t do much with her and she ended up not coming close to meeting expectations. Lets look at some of the reasons as to why this was the case.

Fighting Ability

One of the big reasons for this is her lack of fighting ability. Robyn may have looked to be fighting evenly against Tyrian in the theme song, but that wasn’t the case in the episode. She had to team up with Clover and Qrow with both of them doing most of the work. Robyn’s crossbow did not look impressive as it deals minimal damage and the arrows are too slow so Tyrian can react to them all. She does get a good hit thanks to using Tyrian’s overconfidence against him, but in a straight fight it is clear that she is nowhere near Clover or Tyrian. To an extent she doesn’t have to be as strong as them but I would have liked for her to have been in the same ballpark. Instead she is relegated to the sidelines. It’s quite telling that in the second last episode she gets taken down in a quick hit and when she wakes up she is taken down in the plane crash once again while everyone else remained conscious. Robyn was constantly being outshined and you can’t have an effective third party is you’re this weak.

Ironwood exists

The biggest missed opportunity for Robyn is actually Ironwood’s continued existence. He ended up becoming the interesting third party of volume 7 as he slowly went down a dark path. This really made Robyn feel redundant because it’s rare to have 4 different factions running around. The only title I can think of that did this is Index with the Sorcerers, Aleister’s unit, Touma/Misaka’s group, The Level 0, and then Accelerator. You also have Anti Skill and Judgment running around if you count smaller groups. So what ended up happening here is that Robyn’s aligning more with the heroes. By volume 8 there’s a chance she will be a full hero as they all unite to stop Ironwood and possibly contend with Salem. Robyn could make for a fun hero, but I’d rather have her as more of an extremist like Adam. Her position is so close to his.

Adam Set the bar too high

Adam’s the greatest RWBY character so perhaps it was unfair to Robyn from the jump to even be compared to him. The odds of her being able to fill in his shoes were never that high from the start. It’s hard not to draw the same conclusions though. Adam wanted to help the faunus because there was such heavy discrimination against them and so he began the revolution. Thanks to Adam’s efforts the faunus now have a much better living situation even if he was taken down before true equality could be reached. Robyn is trying to help the people of Mantle as Atlas has turned their backs on them. Mantle is forced to live in pretty terrible conditions while the people of Atlas still enjoy a very wealthy lifestyle. Ironwood says that this is just temporary but Robyn is through waiting and so she has assembled her “Happy Huntresses” who raid Atlas supplies and try to help people. She certainly doesn’t mind attacking innocents if it’ll get the job done as she would have assaulted Clover’s squad if not for Penny intervening.

One difference from Adam is that she also tries to do this through the official channels. You may wonder how she is able to be known as a wanted vigilante while also running for a chair position. I’d attribute this to her social status. If Ironwood were to arrest her in public it would be a really bad look for him and tensions are already quite high in Atlas. There’s also the knowledge that if she doesn’t win legally then she’ll do whatever she can off the books. Robyn is certainly a lot more heroic than Adam, but she needed to have more of an active role. It all goes back to her lack of power. If she were stronger then she would have had more influence.

Robyn’s semblance is incredibly useful but she never takes advantage of it.

Robyn can detect if someone is telling the truth or not. That’s quite valuable in a story like this where everyone is constantly lying. It makes you wonder why there was any tension after Tyrian’s attack and framing of Penny. That whole framing job doesn’t work for a variety of reasons, but the biggest one is the fact that Robyn could use her ability to find out what really happened. Just ask Penny if she was responsible or not. Since Penny’s aura is enough to work as a conduit to the Maidens and recognized as a real person, the same logic would apply to her semblance. She can also question all of the other people in Ironwood’s faction and get the same response. It should diffuse tensions and it would have helped a lot with the plane situation and Clover although I think she made the right move there. Clover was the one being completely short sighted and crazy.

How can Robyn make a comeback in Volume 8?

Robyn’s character isn’t past the point of no return. Being underwhelming is completely different from being a bad character so there are still a lot of things she can do to rise back up. First off, she needs to get some more say in Volume 8. A big way to do this would be to snatch one of the relics. If she manages to use the schism between Cinder and Salem to snatch back a relic that would be huge. Particularly if she can take it for herself. Perhaps she can take Ironwood’s relic instead. Robyn just needs to grab someone or something and use that as leverage to help Mantle out. Thing is, there are not going to be a lot of opportunities for this in Volume 8 since Salem’s attack threatens the safety of everyone including her people.

A new weapon could also accomplish the same thing. Robyn already has a lot of confidence and some pretty good lines. The problem is that she is good at hitting people once they’re down, but isn’t winning any straight fights. A solid win against a big character would do her a lot of good. Perhaps taking down Blake or Neo would be a good start. Ironwood established a lot of credibility for himself by taking down Watts in Volume 7. Robyn needs to take down a similar figure in Volume 8 and that’ll be the way to really get her on the map.

A final way Robyn could do this would be to broker a deal with Salem to protect Mantle. She realizes that there is no way to save them until she joins Salem. Traitors are rarely popular with the main characters, but saving Mantle is really her only concern at this point. If she were to pull this off and save the day then it would make her a character to take note of. Right now Robyn has no real presence and that’s what she has to work on changing. These are some reasons why her character just felt wasted in Volume 7 and some ways for her to get better. The bottom line is that we need a reason to respect Robyn as a threat to the heroes or for the villains to respect her as a powerful ally. At the end of the day this means that she needs some kind of win and she’ll either need better fighting abilities or a really good plan to pull this off.

Robyn has already been saying all of the right things. She is quick to stand up for Mantle whether she is in a meeting with the executives or just talking to team RWBY. She doesn’t trust anyone a whole lot which is a good thing and I’ve already talked about her confidence. It’s a lot harder to change your personality than your skills so that’s a very promising sign. We just need her to go rogue and since most of her supporters are either murdered or injured at this point it should make it a lot easier for her to make a move without having to worry about anyone else being in trouble.