Anime, Shows

RWBY Volume 3 Is A Major Turning Point in the Series

Spoiler-Free Anime Review:

RWBY Volume 3

Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

Intro

I enjoyed Volume 1 and 2, but I have to say that Volume 3 exceeded my expectations. There were so many surprises, and a major turning point in the series. It’s my favorite volume so far. I watched it twice, once with my siblings and once with my close friend.

Warning! Although there are no spoilers for Volume 3 in this review, there are minor spoilers for earlier volumes.

Background

RWBY is an American anime. Some people say anime has to come from Japan to be legit–I disagree. I share the opinion of many others that say anime is a style and not limited to the products of any one country.

Volume 3 was released in 2015. Before production began on Volume 3, Monty Oum had a severe allergic reaction, fell into a coma, and died on February 1, 2015. He was only 33. Despite this tragedy, new members of the team were hired and it was decided RWBY would continue.

Summary

The Vytal Festival Tournament is the ultimate battle of skill, pitting the world’s most powerful Huntsmen and Huntresses in training against one another… and it’s finally here! Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang are back for a season of over-the-top action, and they’re not alone. New fighters from around Remnant are ready to bring glory to their Kingdom, but there are those among them with a far more sinister goal in mind.”

Rooster Teeth quoted on Fandom

Basically, RWBY is about four young women who seek to become huntresses and defend the world of Remnant from shadowy creatures called Grimm.

Pros

  • Memorable heroes
  • Effective villains
  • Unique weapons and apparel
  • Interesting character naming rules
  • Phenomenal fight scenes
  • Interesting setting
  • Original music
  • Attractive intro
  • Balance of comedic and dark moments
  • Groundbreaking American Anime

Cons

  • Animation better but still developing

Review

Characters

For my Volume 1 review I focused on Team RWBY, and for the Volume 2 review I focused on Team JNPR. For this review, I will focus on various favorite characters from Volume 3.

Ozpin is the principal of Beacon Academy, and has a lot of say when it comes to who attends his school and who will be teamed up with who. He makes what seem like strange decisions, such as choosing Ruby for the leader of Team RWBY even though she is the youngest and most immature in her group, and Jaune for the leader of Team JNPR even though he is the least experienced fighter. He has great insight however, recognizing that Ruby and Jaune exhibited leadership skills worthy of their positions. Ozpin has a mysterious past and says that “I’ve made more mistakes than any man, woman, and child on this planet.” Ozpin alludes to the Wizard of Oz.

Sun Wukong is a Faunus with monkey features, visiting Beacon Academy from the Kingdom of Vacuo. Sun became close friends with Blake during the events of Volume 1. He has a great sense of humor and is highly skilled at combat. He is the leader of Team SSSN. Sun is fun-loving, confident, and persistent.

According to Fandom, Sun alludes to Sun Wukong from the Chinese novel Journey to the West. Sun Wukong from the novel was also quite perceptive, had a similar power to Sun’s semblance, and is a monkey.

Neptune Vasilias is a skilled young man who is an incurable flirt. He is constantly trying to impress the girls, which makes him a really funny character. He is a close friend to Sun Wukong.

Neptune alludes to the Neptune found in Roman mythology. This is ironic, as you will see if you watch the volume.

Penny Polendina is an android with a soul, a loveable character whose catchphrase is “Salutations!” Upon meeting Ruby, she is intrigued by being called a friend and asks if it is true. Unsure how to react, Ruby reluctantly says yes at first, but then they do end up being close friends. Penny is curious, kind, loyal, and talented.

Penny is an allusion to Pinocchio, which makes sense since she was created. Even though she was made to be a weapon, she also just wants to do things like a real girl.

Coco Adel is the leader of Team CFVY. She is fashionable, confident, and generally likeable. She is never fazed by the Grimm, which suggests a lot of experience. The name Coco is an allusion to color because of Cocoa, which is brown.

I have to say Coco is one of the coolest characters. Seeing her in action is amazing. According to Fandom, her character design and name may be an allusion to 20th century fashion designer Coco Chanel.

Weapons and Apparel

According to Monty Oum’s Facebook, Sun Wukong’s weapon is a pair of nunchuks called Ruyi Bang and Jingu Bang. They can switch between staff form, gun form, and nunchuk form.

According to Fandom, their name comes from the novel Journey to the West, where the character Sun Wukong’s staff is called Ruyi Jingu Bang.

According to Fandom, Penny’s weapon is called Floating Array. It consists of a grouping of sword-guns that come from inside her body and are capable of shooting a laser.

They have strings attached to them, which is likely an allusion to the puppet strings of Pinocchio.

Coco’s handbag is her weapon, which according to Fandom is called Gianduja. The name comes from an Italian confection made of chocolate and hazelnut paste, which hearkens back to the character name.

Gianduja looks harmless but is actually quite heavy. It can be used as a bludgeoning weapon in handbag form or as a machine gun in gun form.

Naming Rules

Almost all character names and team names follow Monty Oum’s color naming rules, which basically require that all names should be inspired by color. The most notable exception is Ozpin, which makes sense later on.

In the past of Remnant, there was a Great War, during which art was destroyed and artistic suppression expressed. In response to that, later generations named their children based on color as a symbolic choice that meant they would not accept this kind of oppression.

Some examples are:

Ruby--an obvious color

Weiss–German for “white”

Yang–Chinese for “sun,” suggests the color yellow

Blake–Old English for “black”

Furthermore, some characters are named to allude to fairy tale characters, such as how “Weiss Schnee” is a reference to Snow White.

Fight Scenes

The fight scenes in the Vytal tournament are phenomenal. I won’t tell you which teams matched up, but just think of the most skilled fighters with the most creative weapons. That’s what it was, one after another. I will say that we finally figure out what Velvet’s fighting style is, which is super exciting.

The battle of Qrow vs. Winter is one of favorites and comes up early in the volume.

Setting

Amity Colosseum is a floating arena that usually resides in Atlas. It is mobile and moves to the host kingdom of the Vytal festival every time the festival is held. The ground can change terrain randomly and this is used to challenge the fighters and add to the entertainment.

Music

Unlike with many anime, the music in RWBY was created exclusively for RWBY, with foreshadowing built into the songs and songs that seem linked to specific characters.

The music was composed by Jeff Williams, and his daughter Casey Lee Williams does a lot of the vocals. According to Fandom, Jeff Williams does not regard the songs as canon and asserts that they should not be taken literally.

To me, that just seems like he is covering for himself and Rooster Teeth in case the story ends up veering too far from the lyrics, but I know that so far the songs fit the theme and story very well.

My favorite song in Volume 3 is “Neon,” which is basically Neon making fun of a member of Team RWBY.

Intro

The intro is better animated than previous intros and highlights the darker nature of Volume 3. It shows important heroes and villains and foreshadows what is to come.

The intro also delves into the past a bit with well-placed hints.

Balance

Even though this volume is a bit darker than the previous ones, there is still a lot of humor. For instance, the dialogue is still funny at times.

Qrow: “They don’t give medals for almost.”

Ruby: “They do and they’re called silver!”

There is also a fairy tale quality to the past that Ozpin describes in RWBY. The villains’ threatening schemes add a dark element to this volume.

Animation

The 3D animation of RWBY is made using Poser, and thus differs greatly from most other anime. The animation is simple and does not involve a lot of shading and shadow like later volumes have. There are scenes like in the forest where it really shows how far the animators have come.

Contribution to Anime

RWBY is unique because it is one of the few American anime. It is filled with references to Western pop culture and folk tales, as well as some references to Eastern culture. Additionally, its animation style, while underdeveloped, sets out on a separate path from typical anime.“

Conclusion

Volume 3 is where RWBY really takes off and improves. If you like this volume, keep in mind that later volumes will get even better.

I recommend this anime for ages 13 and up.

Rating System

If you’re interested in how I rate shows, check out my rating system.

Links

Related Articles

Anime, Shows

MHA Season 3 Features Harrowing Villains, Flamboyant Heroes, and Dorms!

Spoiler-Free Anime Review:

My Hero Academia Season 3

Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

Intro

Since My Hero Academia is currently my favorite anime, there is no big surprise it is rated high. I am willing to acknowledge its flaws, but these are few. It has so many strong points in its favor! I watched it twice, once with my siblings subbed and once with my dad dubbed.

Warning! Although there are no spoilers for Season 3, there are some spoilers for earlier seasons.

Background

My Hero Academia Season 3 was released in 2018. It was produced by the studio Bones and directed by Kenji Nagasaki. The plot is based on the graphic novels by  Kōhei Horikoshi.

You can watch My Hero Academia on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu.

Summary

UA students participate in the forest lodge trip, work on their ultimate moves, decorate dorm rooms, and enroll in the provisional licensing exam.

Pros

  • Recap episode that also adds to the story, catching newcomers up to speed
  • The relationship between Kirishima and Bakugo is sweet
  • Creative quirks
  • Dangerous and effective villains
  • Backstory of Tomura Shigaraki
  • New and unique characters
  • Attractive intros and outro
  • Catchy music
  • Dorm room decorating is hilarious and brilliant
  • Actual consequences for dangerous decisions
  • Creating ultimate moves is really cool
  • The provisional licensing exam is awesome
  • Original art style

Cons

  • Mineta being a typical creep and harassing girls
  • Mei Hatsume is uncomfortably touchy with the guys, in what is probably unintentional harassment
  • The second outro is kind of boring and uncreative

Observations

  • How did Ashido manage to high-five Hagakure (Invisible Girl)?
  • Bakugo has cooking skills…also, he’s totally a nerd!

Review

Recap

The first episode is a recap of what has happened so far and about the various quirks of the characters. Don’t skip it–it’s actually a funny episode with a swim competition and plenty of pool antics.

Relationships

Kirishima puts his elbow on Bakugo’s shoulder, and Bakugo does not completely flip out. That’s…amazing. It’s nice to see Bakugo on equal footing with Kirishima rather than him being like an underling.

Ochaco’s crush on Deku and his feelings toward her is a continued theme, but it remains true that romance is something the show doesn’t focus much on.

Quirks

There are plenty of interesting quirks involving blood, enhanced muscles, creating monsters from the earth, etc.

Seiji Shishikura has a particularly disturbing and effective quirk that he uses during the provisional licensing exam.

There are also old quirks that are worth noting for their creativity: such as explosive sweat, acid, engines on calves, frog abilities, and dark shadow.

Characters

My Hero Academia always has a ton of characters. Luckily for us, they all have their qualities that make them interesting, even the ones that don’t get as much screen time.

This season adds some new characters who are just as entertaining as the ones that have become so familiar.

The Wild, Wild Pussycats are a team of superheroes who have formidable quirks and spunky personalities.

Kota Izumi is a five-year-old kid who hates superheroes. He is not thrilled to meet the UA gang. Oddly when I first saw him I thought he was just a short man, and was surprised that he was a little kid instead. He is under the care of the Wild, Wild Pussycats.

We finally get to meet Bakugo’s parents. The way that his mom acts kinda hints at why he is so irate all the time. His upbringing undoubtedly sheds light on his current behavior.

Muscular is a villain we get to meet in Season 3, along with a whole team of members of the League of Villains.

It is worthwhile to note that we start getting backstories about the villains in Season 3. For instance, there is a lot of detail about Twice’s backstory. He’s one of my favorite villains.

In the Provisional Hero License Exam arc, we get introduced to members of different schools. These two from Shiketsu High School probably interact with Class 1-A the most.

Camie Utsushimi is on the left, and she has a kind of ditsy personality and does things that make other characters uncomfortable.

Inasa Yoarashi is on the right. He has a powerful quirk that makes him a match for Shoto Todoroki when it comes to power. He has an intense rivalry with Todoroki.

My favorite characters introduced this season are the Big Three. From left to right that’s Mirio Togata, Nejire Hado, and Tamaki Amajiki. They are all ridiculously powerful and have creative quirks. These guys are introduced now, but where they really get to shine is Season 4.

Plot

From fighting villains and testing for licenses to decorating dorm rooms, the plot keeps you interested from beginning to end. It throws in plenty of character development and backstories. I was hooked, and I don’t doubt you will be too if you enjoyed previous seasons.

Intros and Outros

The first intro shows many of the pro heroes and villains, as well as showing the students in action. The song is upbeat, quirky, and fitting for the show – Odd Future by Uverworld.

The first outro shows a bunch of sketches of characters. It’s actually really fun and attractive, using comic book panels in many sections. The art style is beautiful and it includes references to things such as pez dispensers. It features the song Update by miwa.

Btw, don’t click on the links to the second intro and outro below if you don’t want spoilers.

The second intro is basically showing shots of the Provisional Hero License Exam, introducing the characters in pictures, and is just fun. Seeing Ms. Joke flirt with Aizawa is hilarious. I also like that they put Invisible Girl in the spotlight for the final image because she is character that is usually not focused on. There is an odd scene with a pink-haired character who never shows up in the show, but apparently they were from a canceled filler. This intro features the song Make My Story by Lenny code fiction.

The second outro is terribly boring and shows Midoriya walking slowly and rigidly, and All-Might walking upside down. It’s pretty awful. It features the song Long Hope Philia by Masaki Suda.

Music

Below are all the full songs from the outros and intros–my favorite of these is Odd Future and my least favorite is Long Hope Filia. These are the music videos, so they don’t show the My Hero Academia characters.

  • Odd Future by Uverworld – Kind of odd music video with a horse and dancer, and the whole scene turning red like a murder scene occasionally. My 10th favorite anime song.
  • Update by miwa – This really is a great song in its entirety and the music video looks kind of like a school performance. It doesn’t have anywhere near as many views as the other songs chosen for My Hero Academia, which is a shame.
  • Make My Story by Lenny Code Fiction – the music video is a bunch of dudes dancing and singing in a field with a bunch of spotlights. The song is catchy.
  • Long Hope Philia by Masaki Suda – Not one of my favorite songs, but not bad either. The music video shows a sleeping man in a chair, a bunch of exhausted looking people shambling about, and Japanese phrases being written on various surfaces. I got tired just watching those people looking tired, and the music video is confusing, but that’s probably because I don’t know Japanese.

Art Style

The animation was done by Studio Bones, which also did the style of Fullmetal Alchemist, another one of my favorite anime.

The style is different from Fullmetal Alchemist because it uses bold, bright colors and deep shadows for contrast. The pupils of characters are much smaller than in most anime.

Harassment

Hatsume is somewhat problematic because she is super touchy with guys even though they are clearly uncomfortable. Above is Hatsume, having fallen on Midoriya. This was an accident, but she seems strangely happy about it even though Midoriya is horrified. She’s in no big hurry to get off either.

This is not as bad as Mineta, who continuously objectifies girls and women. For instance, he goes to great lengths to see the girls naked while they are bathing. The other characters chastise him and acknowledge that he is doing wrong, but the whole thing is still portrayed as a joke.

Observations

Not sure how Ashido managed to high five Invisible Girl perfectly. In the same battle, even supporting characters make themselves useful, which I appreciate. It wasn’t just Bakugo, Todoroki, and Midoriya doing all the hard work.

We learn that Bakugo can cook in this season, which is kind of surprising since he has zero patience for most things. Furthermore, it is shown that Bakugo has the qualities of a stereotypical nerd–getting high grades, going to bed early…which is ironic considering he always calls Midoriya “you damn nerd.”

Conclusion

Watch this anime. It’s great. Obviously check out the first two seasons first, but keep in mind that the seasons get progressively better. At least up to Season 4. While I’m writing this, part of Season 5 is out, but I’m reserving judgment on that until the season finale.

I would recommend this anime for ages 13 and up.

Rating System

If you are interested in how I rate shows, check out my rating system.

Links

Outros and Intros

Full Songs

Related Articles

Anime, Shows

It’s No Spoiler: They’re all Dead

Spoiler-Free Anime Review:

Angel Beats! Season 1

Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

Intro

When I first started Angel Beats!, I wasn’t sure if I liked it. After getting a few episodes in, it became one of my favorite anime. I watched it once with my siblings, partway with my ex-boyfriend, and again by myself because it was so good.

Background

This Japanese anime series, released in 2010, was based on the ideas of Jun Maeda and Na-Ga. The studios that produced the anime are P.A. Works and Aniplex.

Summary

High schooler Yuzuru Otonashi wakes up in the afterlife without warning and lacking any memory of his life on Earth. Once there, he finds that the members of the Battlefront are engaged in war against a mysterious individual they call Angel, who has supernatural powers. All members of the Battle Front seek to defy God due to their seemingly unfair lives and/or tragic deaths.

Pros

  • Unusual concept
  • Fascinating characters
  • Well-developed tragic backstories
  • Balance of humor, tension, and tragedy
  • Beautiful animation
  • Attractive intro and outro that change often
  • Phenomenal music throughout
  • Title that has significant meaning revealed near the end

Cons

  • Minimal character development for many characters
  • Felt rushed
  • Repetitive at times
  • Violent and uncomfortable relationship between two characters

Observations

  • An interesting theme to trace is characters’ attitudes toward God

Review

Concept

Battle Front Emblem

The concept is entertaining and held my interest throughout the anime. This is the only anime I’ve ever watched where the characters all start off dead. Nonetheless, the show encourages emotional investment because the characters can be obliterated. This can happen if they obey school rules and try to fit in, if they find peace, or give in.

It is interesting to trace characters’ opinions toward God throughout. There is a wide range of outlooks. Some openly defy God. Others are ambivalent. Still, others believe that He is potentially good and that the afterlife is no punishment. One character believes he is God, and another insists on being called Christ (even though no one is willing to call him that.)

Characters

Angel is a high schooler with supernatural powers such as Hand Sonic, which causes a blade to sprout from her hand. She is believed to be an agent of God’s will and not a dead human like the rest of the characters. Her personality is calm, collected, determined, and generally quiet. She is incredibly powerful, and it typically takes several members of the Battle Front to even slow her down.

Yuri “Yurippe” Nakamura is the fearless leader of the Battle Front. Due to her tragic past, she founded the Battle Front to defy God. Yurippe is defiant, stubborn, and serious, yet has a sense of humor. She is a match for Angel because of her great skill in combat, and she is the character that seems most traumatized by her past.

Yuzuru Otonashi wakes up in the afterlife without any memory of his life on Earth. Initially he is uncertain of who to side with, Angel or the Battle Front. Otonashi does not believe that it is impossible to die in the afterlife because he does not believe he is already dead. As a result, he needs proof. Otonashi is kind, adaptable, and willing to disagree with the crowd. He could probably be considered the main character, even though Angel and Yurippe are extremely important to the storyline.

Hideki Hinata is the co-founder of the Battle Front along with Yurippe. He is one of the strongest members of the Battle Front, but is not afraid to go against the crowd when his beliefs clash with theirs. He quickly develops a close friendship with Otonashi. Hinata gave Angel and Yurippe their nicknames. He is loyal and laidback, but occasionally violent towards Yui.

Yui is a fan of the band Girls Dead Monster. She has an awkward friendship with Hinata that is uncomfortable at times. She is short, easily frightened, energetic, and sometimes annoying. The other characters rarely take her seriously. She is also a skilled vocalist and guitarist herself, although she struggles when she has to do both at the same time. Yui’s tragic past makes her want to make the most of her time in the afterlife.

Backstories

The character backstories for some characters are superbly developed and tragic. Some characters have revealed deaths, while others just have tragedies revealed in their pasts. Many of the characters are not well-developed and have simple yet unique personalities that add to the show even though they are not developed.

Uncomfortable Relationship

The relationship between Yui and Hinata is uncomfortable at best. Don’t think that it’s just Hinata beating up on poor Yui either–they both beat on each other frequently and it’s played for laughs. If it wasn’t meant to be humorous it would be better, but it still would be disturbing to see them fight in a way that is that toxic.

Balance

There is plenty of comedy in Angel Beats! Above, there is a picture of Yurippe creating a distraction by rocketing a team member into the ceiling. While this is happening, dramatic music plays.

There are other sources of humor, such as when the characters consider what would happen is they were obliterated (disappear from the afterlife). They guess at various forms of sea-life they could be reincarnated as.

There is also a lot of sad moments, some of which made me tear up. The backstories of many characters are terrible and tragic too.

Furthermore, there are several tense missions that require a lot of sacrifice and pain.

Animation

The animation is beautiful, particularly the shots that involve light or the sky. It is one of the most attractive styles of animations that I have seen.

Intro & Outro

The intro is attractive and changes with every episode. I love when that happens because it takes extra effort and keeps people engaged during the opening. The piano playing of Angel in the intro is beautiful, and the song is fitting–called My Soul, Your Beats! The outro is softer and sadder, using a song called Brave Song.

At the end of the outro there is a preview that is basically snippets of conversations. It is very intriguing and always makes me look forward to the next episode.

Music

The music is phenomenal, whether its the intros and outros or the performances by the band Girls Dead Monster throughout the episodes.

Length

This anime would have been so much better if the creators had gone with the original plan of 26 episodes rather than cutting it down to 13. So many other characters could have been explored. Even though the show felt rushed, it was still amazing enough for me to watch it several times.

Repetitiveness

The Battlefront has a tendency to use the same battle plan multiple times upon finding it effective; for instance, Operation Tornado. Furthermore, once they find one way to solve a problem, they will often use the same solution over and over during the same episode.

Title

The title has a special meaning that will only be revealed to you if you watch the entire season. It is well worth it!

Conclusion

I would recommend this anime for ages 13 and up.

I think it is worthing noting that as a Christian, I still enjoyed this show and found it worthwhile and touching even though the characters were trying to defy God. The overall message was very positive and heartwarming, so I recommend it for Christians, those of other religions, and nonreligious people alike.

Rating System

If you are interested in how I rate shows, check out my rating system.

Links

Anime, Shows

RWBY Volume 2 Includes Best Food Fight Scene Ever!

Spoiler-Free Anime Review:

RWBY Volume 2

Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

Intro

Volume 1 was a good beginning that nonetheless had major issues with animation and a simplistic plot. Volume 2 veers away from the simple, ups the stakes, and has somewhat improved animation. I watched this volume the first time with my siblings, a second time by myself, and a third time with my closest friend.

Warning! Although there are no spoilers for Volume 2 in this review, there are minor spoilers for Volume 1.

Background

RWBY is an American anime. Some people say anime has to come from Japan to be legit–I disagree. I share the opinion of many others that say anime is a style and not limited to the products of any one country.

The creator is Monty Oum, who developed the plot for the company Rooster Teeth. Originally the anime was an indie miniseries with a low budget, but it has become largely successful.

Volume 2 was released in 2014, and is available with subscription on Amazon Prime, and for free on Crunchyroll and Youtube.

Summary

Team RWBY is back and ready for their second semester at Beacon, but real life doesn’t stop there. Between classes and homework, they still have to find time to save the world. And between the White Fang, Roman Torchwick, and a mysterious new trio, they certainly have their work cut out for them!” 

ROOSTER TEETH quoted on Fandom

Basically, RWBY is about four young women who seek to become huntresses and defend the world of Remnant from shadowy creatures called Grimm.

Volume 2 consists of encounters with new villains, the ever-growing threat of the Grimm, a school dance, a mission that takes a turn for the worst, and preparations for the Vytal Festival.

Pros

  • Memorable heroes
  • Effective villains
  • Interesting character naming rules
  • Unique weapons and apparel
  • Phenomenal fight scenes
  • Team RWBY try their hands at a mission
  • Original music
  • Attractive intro
  • Balance of comedic and tense moments
  • Groundbreaking American Anime

Cons

  • Animation is still amateurish
  • Episodes shorter than the average show length

Observations

Heroes

Since I introduced the members of team RWBY in my review of Volume 1, for this review I will focus on team JNPR.

Jaune Arc is a generally unskilled aspiring huntsman. He grew up in a family with seven sisters, and even though he desires to be strong, his abilities are underdeveloped. According to Fandom, Jaune was also meant to be similar to the character Sokka from Avatar: The Last Airbender–a normal person among people with special powers.

Jaune Arc’s name alludes to Joan of Arc. The spelling of Jaune is also evocative of the French word for yellow. Arc may also refer to Jaune’s special symbol, which is a rainbow-shaped double-arc, displayed prominently on his shield.

Jaune is loyal to his friends and becomes an increasingly competent leader of Team JNPR.

Nora Valkyrie is a fun-loving, talkative young woman with immense skill using her hammer-like weapon. Her character alludes to Thor from Norse Mythology.

There are a couple of theories regarding her name. It may be a shortened form of Eleonora, from the Greek word meaning “light.” Additionally, Fandom suggests that it may be derived from the Arabic word for light or that it may come from the flower name Nora Barlow Columbine.

Nora has a close relationship with her friend Lie Ren with potential for future romance.

Pyrrha Nikos is a prodigy, skilled at melee and long-range fighting. She is basically a celebrity athlete, admired by many. Only Jaune seems to have no idea of her fame when he meets her, and this may be why she develops a very obvious crush on him. According to Fandom, Pyrrha’s name alludes to Achilles, who once took on the name Pyrrha while in disguise as a woman, and to Nike, the Greek Goddess of Victory. Her name is also derived from a Greek word meaning “flame-colored.”

Pyrrha is compassionate, loyal, empathetic, and brave. Her semblance is Polarity, which allows her to magnetize and control metals.

Lie Ren is a talented young man who is able to fight easily long-range and melee. He ignores Nora’s obvious crush on him without being particularly cruel.

According to Fandom, his last name comes from the Japanese kanji word for lotus, while his full name is derived from the pinyin of the Chinese word for hunter. He was intended to allude loosely with Mulan.

Ren is quiet, thoughtful, intelligent, and stubborn. As shown in the food fight scene, he does have a side that is fun and spontaneous.

Villains

Mercury Black and Emerald Sustrai are introduced in Volume 2 as part of Cinder’s faction. With the introduction of these two formidable foes, the threat level is amped up somewhat.

Naming

Almost all character names and team names follow Monty Oum’s color naming rules, which basically require that all names should be inspired by color.

Other interesting themes are that all character names or the characters themselves on Team JNPR are inspired by people who dressed as the opposite gender: Joan of Arc, Thor, Achilles, and Mulan.

Another name theme is references to flowers, which is more apparent in my review of Volume 1.

Weapons and Apparel

Other than Jaune’s weapon, which is basically a hand-me-down sword, Team JNPR’s weapons are impressive. (If you want to learn about Team RWBY’s weapons, check out my review of Volume 1.) It is worthwhile to mention that even though Jaune’s sword is boring, his expandable/collapsible shield is rather helpful and creative.

Nora’s weapon is called Magnhild, which is referenced in the Volume 2 song “Boop,” and functions as both a hammer and a grenade launcher. It utilizes pink dust that fits her character design. According to Fandom, the name comes from Old Norse, German and Norwegian and is based on the words for “mighty” and “battle.”

Nora’s clothing design befits her lighthearted character with the bright pinks and heart design.

Pyrrha Nikos’ weapon and shield are called Miló and Akoúo̱. According to Monty Oum’s Twitter, their names mean “speak” and “listen” respectively. Miló can change between sword, a javelin and a rifle, allowing long-range and melee attacks. Furthermore, the shield Akoúo̱ can be thrown like a discus.

According to Monty Oum’s Facebook, Lie Ren’s weapon is called StormFlower. It consists of two handguns with sickle like blades.

Like most weapons in RWBY, Stormflower is useful for close combat and long range.

Inspiration for his clothing was influenced by Chinese culture.

Fight Scenes

RWBY always has phenomenal fight scenes. Seeing Team CFVY fight had to be one of the highlights of the volume, though. Professor Oobleck was no pushover, either. Even just seeing Team RWBY against White Fang members and Grimm was impressive. They even have new names for their formidable new team techniques, such as Freezerburn, Checkmate, and Ladybug.

Mission

What I like about the mission that Team RWBY undertakes is that it forces them to confront the reasons why they seek to become huntresses. Additionally, I think it is kind of funny that they see these huge Grimm passing by at a distance at one point and are like–yeah, those beasties are a little too dangerous, let’s stay clear of those. Even talented fledging huntresses have their limits. It kind of reminds me of RPG games such as Final Fantasy that have monsters far too difficult to beat that you have to just avoid until later in the game.

Music

Unlike with many anime, the music in RWBY was created exclusively for RWBY, with foreshadowing built into the songs and songs that seem linked to specific characters.

The music was composed by Jeff Williams, and his daughter Casey Lee Williams does a lot of the vocals. According to Fandom, Jeff Williams does not regard the songs as canon and asserts that they should not be taken literally.

To me, that just seems like he is covering for himself and Rooster Teeth in case the story ends up veering too far from the lyrics, but I know that so far the songs fit the theme and story very well.

The best songs in Volume 2, in my opinion, are “Time to Say Goodbye” and “Caffeine.”

Intro

The intro for Volume 2 is beautiful, even if the animation still leaves much to be desired. The backgrounds are simple, but I appreciate how it switches art styles in the middle.

The music in the intro fits the anime and hints at a darker future for the show.

Comedy and Tension

The most comedic moment has to be the food fight that occurs in the first episode of the volume. It defies logic, and yet it is so hilarious that I do not care.

Humor is also shown in the dialogue, such as when Ruby addresses the group as “Sisters, friends, Weiss…”

There are plenty of tenser moments too, such as when Emerald and Mercury confront Tukson, when Blake worries herself into complete exhaustion, and when a Grimm attack threatens innocents.

Animation

The 3D animation of RWBY is made using Poser, and thus differs greatly from most other anime. The major consequence of a low budget combined with this 3D style was that it made the whole volume look underdeveloped.

The animated movement was occasionally awkward, even though Volume 2 showed improvements over Volume 1. There are no longer just silhouettes for background characters. However, in the dance scene there are copies of some partners, giving it an overly simplistic feel.

Episode Length

Each episode in Volume 2 is 12 minutes long. That’s still short for an anime episode, and there is no reason they shouldn’t have just combined episodes to make them longer.

Contribution to Anime

RWBY is unique because it is one of the few American anime. It is filled with references to Western pop culture and folk tales. Additionally, its animation style, while underdeveloped, sets out on a separate path from typical anime.

Conclusion

Volume 2, while it is better than Volume 1, is not as great as the later volumes, mostly due to poor animation. If you’re not sure about the show after watching 1 and 2, I would say you should at least try Volume 3 before reaching a final judgment.

That being said, Volume 2 is fun, enjoyable, and totally worth your time. I would recommend this Volume for ages 13 and up.

Rating System

If you are interested in how I rate shows, check out my rating system.

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