Tag Archives: Animation

Anime Review: Claymore

Warning: The anime I am reviewing today is called Claymore. It is rated TV-MA (Mature Adult). Therefore, it is not suitable for young viewers. The series contains adult themes.
Mature Content: Without question Claymore has graphic violence and gore. Children are absolutely mistreated emotionally and physically in the series. A male character flat out states he intends to rape an adult woman.
Kern’s Disclaimer: This is not just a typical hack-and slash action show. It should not be treated like one. Know that going into it. One more time for the people in the back. This anime is NOT for young or impressionable viewers. If you have delicate sensibilities regarding the content warnings above, maybe just don’t watch this anime. I won’t be held responsible if it triggers the absolute crap out of you.

Did you read the warning? I put that there for a reason, so you better have read it. There is some content in this anime that even gets to me a little, and I’m no snowflake. Anyway, if you didn’t heed that warning, that’s your problem now. I did my due diligence as far as I’m concerned. Assuming you did read it from this point on, let’s get started.

Hey everyone, it’s Kernook here. Yeah, it’s time for another review. Today I’m going to talk about an anime that isn’t perfect, in some ways it isn’t very good at all, however in others it truly shines. I have always enjoyed it, despite its many flaws. There aren’t many series quite like it in my personal opinion. This anime is called Claymore.

Now, depending on your particular tastes in anime, there’s no shortage to pick from nowadays. As fans, our choices for solid anime has never been better. However, if you were a fan back in 2007, you know that the anime fandom was quite a bit different.

We didn’t exactly get the same flood of series that we do nowadays, and while we got a plethora of great shows over the years, fans had a tendency to cling onto their chosen favorites for just a little while longer. Mostly this is because a favorite and beloved anime was just harder to replace.

This is especially true for anime that deviated from the normal offerings of a yearly line-up. Yes, I do mean yearly, because back then full seasonal floods were just harder to find legally. We still had a lot to choose from, but nothing like the magnitude we do today.

Needless to say, when an anime manages to hold my interest for any length of time, I am impressed. This one stands my test of time. Claymore lingers in the back of my mind as a series I can fondly recollect, to me that is vastly important.

It was directed by a lesser known man by the name of Hiroyuki Tanaka. You may not have heard of him, because although he occasionally deals with extremely popular anime, he rarely dabbles in positions widely acclaimed by the anime fandom at large. Funnily enough, he would later have his hand in shows like Attack on Titian as an assistant director.

Dark World Done Right

Claymore is the sort of series that demands a particular attention to detail. There’s a lot of carefully embedded themes that help to build the lore and law if its world.

Animated by the studio Madhouse, it stands the test of time, more or less.

Even when the scenes do look dated by today’s standard, I’d never think them awful. The series is packed with action, and dips in quality do happen from time to time. This is not their best work, but it’s certainly not terrible either. Corners were cut, but never in a way that makes you truly cringe.

There’s a real sort of grit and grime that allows this series to age very well. When it wants to look beautiful or captivating, it does. Red pools of blood can shimmer in the darkness like a dark omen in one moment, while in the next a moonlit sky can softly drape across the land. There’s a duality here, layered in a way that only an anime like this can really pull off.

This is a historical, nearly medieval world. As many anime tend to do, it takes place in an alternate universe from our own. Plenty of sinister little truths lurk behind every corner, and emotional levity comes in small doses. All of this is encapsulated with a sunning soundtrack that is perfectly fitting for the themes at play.

Due to the existence of monsters known as Yoma, the people in this world are tormented and live in fear of their existence. This stands to good reason, as Yoma tend to feed off of humanity. They are quite demonic in behavior, but not necessarily in appearance. You see, not all Yoma make themselves obvious. Yoma can live among humanity, blend in as a human and act as a human might.

Yes, that’s right. These aren’t your typical monsters under the bed. Yoma can live among humanity, and might linger there without being found. How do they do this, you ask? Simple, a Yoma can take the form of any human that they’ve eaten. So long as they’re careful and calculating, an unsuspecting village may never know a Yoma lives among them.

Due to this, Yoma are not to be pitied. They are inhuman creatures, often posing a great threat to society and therefore they need to be expunged.

This is where the Claymore come in to the narrative and the plot begins in earnest. Claymore are the ones that take down these beasts.

Warning, there are spoilers beyond this point. If you don’t want spoilers, just go watch the show (provided you keep in mind the warning I gave above). Go find it, and watch it. it’s on Funimation, and I think maybe Hulu. There is an actual age gate on the anime on most reputable websites. That means you’re going to have to actually log into the website, like Funimation for example, just to watch the series. Anyway, with that said, let’s continue on.

The Story

Dotting the landscape there are sleepy little towns that would otherwise be peaceful. However, the townsfolk have come to the conclusion that a Yoma lives among them. This poses two different threats. The first is that Yoma would eventually eat them if it continued to live there. The second is that the townsfolk would have no real way to detect the Yoma hiding among them. For all they know their best friend or loved one could be the Yoma simply hiding its true form.

There is really only one way to deal with a Yoma, and that is to hire a Claymore. Now a Claymore is many things, all of them equally as deadly as the Yoma themselves. You see, these women are half Yoma, half human hybrids. Even when they sustain incredible bodily damage that would kill a human, they don’t easily die. Normally they heal right on the spot. For example, even while impaled like this Claymore is below, she is still fighting fit to take down her enemy.

They’re created and trained by a mysterious group known only as “The Organization” an otherwise nameless entity. As far as these women are concerned, they may as well be entirely removed from humanity itself.

A Claymore is created by cramming the blood and flesh of a dead Yoma into a living, breathing, human female. This combination slowly turns her into something not quite human, not quite beast. They’re given their names because of the swords they wield, and the fact that they’ve completely renounced the concept of a peaceful human existence.

They are not to trifle in human affairs, kill humans (even when those humans are bandits, thieves, and murders themselves), or in any way think themselves as equal to humanity. There is no exception to these rules, and a Claymore that defies them will be hunted down and killed by her own kind.

Assigned by numbers denoting their skill, they are considered mere monsters, even when it is clear that they are not entirely like the humanity they vow to protect.

The fate of a Claymore is hardly peaceful, and usually ends tragically. Anyway you look at it, their mere existence is rather lonely and their fates promise to be the selfsame as the Yoma themselves. If a woman becomes a Claymore, her days are numbered and that’s just a cold hard fact that these women accept. They understand that this is the way of the world, and will not change.

The story one follows one such woman. A fairly young one at that. Her name is Clare, and as a Claymore her job is to dispatch where she is told to go, and slay Yoma that put humanity in danger.

She is a person of very few words, favoring action over mindless diatribe, and because of this her speaking lines are rather limited, despite how central she is to the story and overall plot of the anime. This is not a disservice to her character. In fact, I’d say this is a marked improvement over the typical protagonist that doesn’t know how to shut the hell up.

Clare acts decisively, with brutal skill in combat and a very clear-cut view of the world. Clare is many things, but she is no pushover.

She is not to be trifled with as far as humanity is concerned. Now unfortunately whenever you have an incredibly self-assured, competent female protagonist, running around in a world full of monsters, you also tend to have the jackass male sidekick.

You know the kind I’m talking about…

They’re usually worthless, and often times beyond help. These are the sort of guys you want to hit with a hammer, because they could not possibly survive in the world that surrounds them in any meaningful way. There’s just no way that the world would not eat them alive.

Well, sorry to say it, but we have one of those, yet again. His name is Raki and he is young, stupid, and you could get the same characterization out of a little lost puppy on the side of the road. Actually, that’s likely an insult to puppies, my apologies. Not even his own village likes him, he’s exiled from it.

In any case Clare saves Raki from the Yoma that she was hired to kill, and begins to teach him the ways of the world. This is the lens in which the entire series hinges heavily on from this point. Monster fights, traveling the world at large, and Clare trying to keep Raki out of harms way.

When I mean that this is the shows core themes, I’m not kidding. When we aren’t following Clare and Raki, We’re following a different Claymore named Teresa and through that lens we’re shown Clare’s backstory. In these flashback episodes of sorts, we come to find out Clare’s past isn’t incredibly dissimilar from Raki’s own.

She was once a human girl with no place to turn, and traveled with world with Teresa. As a child, Clare was enamored with the concept of becoming a Calmore, not fully understanding the terrible life they tended to lead. After a rather gritty and sorrowful series of events, Clare is left alone in the world again. She decides to become a Claymore herself, just like the woman who had been trying to raise her.

All in all, the plot is serviceable, and outside of Raki, the cast is generally well rounded when they show up. Now sadly, as many series tend to do, it deviated strongly from it’s manga in the ending.

If you are a written media purists, this will no doubt make you want to throw your chair at your nearest screen. For the rest of us, the ending isn’t amazing, but the journey proceeding it is well worth it regardless.

Final Thoughts

Claymore is not without flaws, and it makes some very questionable choices on occasion. There are times that you can only be brought to wonder what drove such narrative decisions forward. The inclusion of certain small details and the firm exclusion of others can make the show sometimes feel a bit muddled. It is never for very long, but this is something to keep in mind.

Honestly, in my personal opinion the show is at its best in the flashback episodes of regarding Clare and her upbringing. If the show contained more of that, it would probably be better off.

Furthermore, Raki acts like a small boy, a mere child. Yet, he is quite clearly a teenager. The average viewer wouldn’t be wrong to expect better of him.

I was certainly very disappointed by the lack of a decent male lead. I’m not saying he needed to be a bad-ass, but his lack of emotional maturity is completely agitating. He can be prone to complaining, and crying. For some, it might actually be a deal breaker. He is that bad, and I will not defend him.

This brings me to my last thought. Claymore is a mature story of losses and grievances. These women live within a society that just doesn’t have any room for compassion or understanding. Each Claymore has her own reason to become one, or at the very least, a reason to exist in spite of being one. The world they live in lacks emotional warmth, and their eventual deaths promise to be violent ones.

These are themes that constantly pervade the narrative, so while this ensures awesome fights, it also promises bleak outlooks upon their world at large. If you like dark story telling, this anime has that. You can dip into the waters of cynicism as much as you like.

In my opinion, the ideal viewer for Claymore would probably be a person able to handle mature themes and dark world building, set in an almost medieval society. The series is age gated by most reputable places, and has some blood and carnage, so that part matters. Secondly, this ideal person would also need to be in favor of a strong female protagonists and supporting cast. Overlooking the walking insult that is Raki, decent male characters are few and far between.

Lastly, an ideal viewer would likely be one that hasn’t read the manga before. The deviations are just enough to be agitating. This is a series you want to watch first, and read the written material after.

In the end, if you’re the right kind of viewer, I think that Claymore is certainly worth your time. The series has plenty of heart and soul, but it’s also a bloodbath in combat scenes.

I return to it from time to time, and I don’t regret it when I do. It is far from perfect, but the journey is enjoyable. I return to it from time to time, and I don’t regret it when I do. It is far from perfect, but the journey is enjoyable.

However, if you expect the hero to always win, with no trauma or strife, find a different show. This is not the one for you.

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This has been Kernook of “The Demented Ferrets”, where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll catch you in the next post.

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Kern’s RWBY Red Trailer Analysis

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Opening

The RWBY series toes a fine line between wonderful storytelling and awful storytelling. The world of Remnant is both unfathomably deep, and yet contemptibly shallow.

There’s a lot to unpack in the entire series. Some things are up to personal opinion, and others are vague enough to spark discourse even years down the line. This is my analysis of the series.

I’ll be honest, the RWBY series has flaws. The volumes can be clunky and inconsistent. It isn’t perfect, but I look at RWBY now as a diamond in the rough. So, let’s look back on what sparked this exciting hype-train so long ago.

From here on out I’ll be speaking as if you’ve watched the trailer and that you have at least surface level knowledge of the series. If you don’t have those two things under your belt, you really should watch at least the trailers and Volume 1 before you come back to watch this video. You can watch it on the Rooster Teeth website.

At the time of this blog post, RWBY Volume 8 is in full swing. Volume 9 has been announced. However, I am going to be starting where it all began. The RWBY Red Trailer

Let me make one thing absolutely clear…

The RWBY Red Trailer does strictly what it sets out to do. It introduces us to Ruby Rose, a young huntress-in-training. In that regard it stands out with flying colors. With that said, let’s dive deeper.

Subtle Clues of Ruby’s Character

There are subtle hints to plot elements that were carefully woven into all of the trailers. Each one piggy-backs off the others in some way. This is a moment of great storytelling, showcased perfectly thanks to Ruby’s introductory song. This is my highest praise for the trailer. “Red Like Roses” is a lyrical masterpiece. It compliments everything about Ruby, from her disposition to her attire.

“Red Like Roses” flows perfectly with the scene as it unfolds. However, that’s not the only thing that makes this trailer so powerful.

Doleful tones carry gently as Ruby stands over her mother’s grave. Religion seems largely forgotten about in the series, but Ruby wears crosses that lay at an angle. Crosses like these are common in Christianity. The cross is known as a Missionary Cross.

Now this is important, as it signifies Ruby Rose as a missionary. While I doubt Christianity holds any real sway over the series, the intent of hunters could be seen as a spiritual endeavor. Something personal and deeply meaningful to that person.

Sanding over a gravestone, and carrying the symbology Ruby does, it’s hard not to see the similarities.

Particularly since when her hood is up, it looks as though she’s praying, or at least invoking the image of spirituality in some way. Think a nun, or the Virgin Mary herself.

In various christian faiths going on a missions is often a charitable thing. It’s all about crossing divides and spreading some sort of message onto others. Those are two things Ruby does in the series, although it has little to do with religion.

Ruby stands by her personal beliefs. She exhibits the desire to share them with others. She wants the world to be a better place, and voices that several times throughout the series. Furthermore, she believes that huntsmen and huntresses are intrinsically endowed with the means to do so. That to a degree, they must do so.

Now, in the series we see more often than not that huntsmen are not always altruistic people. However, that said, Ruby believes they should be.

This almost biblical imagery combined with the song, sets a strong tone that carries through the rest of the trailer and all through the volumes of the series.

As for the fight with the Beowolves, I appreciate it far more after watching the series. In the trailer, initially Ruby comes off as an overpowered little girl. Seeing the fight now, I can truly appreciate Ruby’s drive and her cunning. This mixed with the religious symbology makes for complex character.

She’s an expert in tactical combat for her age, showcased wonderfully in her fight with the beowolves. However, this is also a credit of her character design. Wars have been fought purely based on ideology since the beginning of time, and in the series this holds true as well. The show is full to bursting with Ideological conflict, and Ruby’s viewpoint is challenged time and time again as the series progresses. In later volumes, it’s challenged to the point she actually goes against her own morals on occasion. Particularly in volumes 7 and 8.

Also, as far as this trailer is concerned, hindsight is 20/20. Now that I’ve watched the series, I know she’s not overpowered. Far from it. She’s actually fairly weak in many ways that almost cripple her in the early volumes. Particularly, her social skills are completely lacking at the start of Volume 1. Her skill in combat is what earns her the respect of others when her awkwardness, and failure to spread her personal message doesn’t.

The Lyrical Symbolism

The opening lyrics go like this: “Red like roses fill my dreams and brings me to the place you rest. White is cold and always yearning. Burdened by a royal test. Black the beast descends from shadows. Yellow beauty burns… Gold.”

What I’d like to point out is that while these lyrics take nods to the main four girls, they also all apply to the way Ruby sees the world.

Now she’s just a young teenager at the start of this series.

About fifteen years old, and due to this the lyrics are simplistic. This mirrors the way she treats her teammates in Volume 1, and the conflicts she will ultimately have to face throughout the volume.

Weiss is cold by her nature at first, and always striving to be the best.

Failure isn’t an option for Weiss, and she treats Ruby like a naive child for a strong majority of Volume 1. Even when she’s being nice to Ruby, it’s the same sort of niceness you’d give to a child. Probably a young one that says things without knowing any better. It isn’t until Volume 2 that Weiss truly begins to see Ruby as an intellectual equal, instead of a child.

Blake is a shadow that looms over Ruby. A person she can’t understand or even get close to.

Every time Ruby attempts to reach out, Blake keeps her distance. This culminates in the final conflict of Volume 1, where Blake is so far out of her reach, that Ruby’s own voice gets lost between her teammates. While Blake runs off and Weiss is quick to anger, the burden to keep her team together falls on Ruby’s shoulders. She doesn’t handle it very well at all, requiring Yang to mollify Weiss.

Yellow beauty is a nod to Yang, Ruby’s older sibling. In the series, Ruby idolizes her at first.

Yang’s popular, has a lot of friends, she is more mature and she’s beautiful. As a younger sibling, Ruby has a lot to live up to. The nods to Summer Rose are certainly prevalent in the song, but the nods to Yang are too.

Entering into Beacon Academy, is terrifying for Ruby. As much as it’s her dream to be a huntress, it’s not her dream to be a team leader. It’s not her dream to be in the spotlight, and it’s not her dream to hold all of that immense responsibility on her shoulders.

All Ruby wants to do is help people… nodding back to the religious symbolism and missionary work, the message that Ruby truly wants to spread becomes difficult for her to talk about in Volume 1 this showcases in the “Black and White” arc. Team unity, helping others, and finding her own place as a “normal girl, with normal knees”. All of that truly takes a back seat to being a team leader. All of this is buried deep in the subtext of the lyrics, and it is truly masterful.

Now on a quick nod to the Grimm:

Let’s talk about the early Beowolf design. I actually like this design better than the show’s counterpart. They look feral and vicious, something to truly be intimidated by. I think the different design we received in Volume 1 was good, but this one is just better in my opinion.

Take notice, they have bloody looking mouths and eyes. They have a shadowy coat and wispy looking claws.

It seems as though they are truly creatures spawned by the depths of hell itself. 

With Grimm looking like this, it fits the lyrics better in my opinion. The implication is that it is her dream to become a huntress. Their red mouths and eyes are a nightmare. They fill her dreams with that nightmare, and the only way to be at peace with herself is to become a slayer of those nightmares, the creatures of Grimm.

Meanwhile, The Volume 1 Beowolves are plated with bone and white claws. There’s nothing wrong with them, they just look more like an animal and less like a hellspawn.

That’s the point I take from the song personally. Without the context of Grimm design “Red like roses” sounds like Ruby’s focused on the horrors of blood and carnage. While it is still completely serviceable to utilize the song that way, the lyrics lose some of their poetic charm under that new lens.

There isn’t much more for me to say about the RWBY Red Trailer. I can’t compliment it more without digging into Ruby’s character. Since this is just supposed to cover her trailer, I’ll have to refrain for now. I have plenty to say about her, but, that will need to wait until I cover the RWBY volumes properly.

All in all, the RWBY Red Trailer is a foundational touch-stone of the series. It’s helped to shape the fandom that we know today. It gave us our first tastes of RWBY as a series, and Ruby Rose the character.

 At first, we fans didn’t know quite what to expect, and that alone held our collective interests. Since the series is still ongoing, and it hasn’t died a slow death yet, I’ll let that impressive accomplishment speak for itself.

In the next analysis I’m going to cover the RWBY White Trailer

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 This is Kernook, and you’ve been watching The Demeneted Ferrets.

“Where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course…”

The Demented Ferrets…

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Kern’s RWBY Red Trailer Retrospective

Please don’t forget to follow the blog. You can check out our platforms for great content too! It would be best to follow us on Twitter in order to see all of the content we have to offer as it comes out. This includes gaming live streams, and YouTube video essays regarding anime and other media. If you like what we do, please consider supporting us.


Video Production of This Script

This is the finished video regarding the script. It is written, edited, and read aloud by Kernook of “The Demented Ferrets”. You can watch the video on this blog and on YouTube. I hope you enjoy the content.

Opening

If you haven’t seen the RWBY Red Trailer, go do that. It’s on the Rooster Teeth website, and it’s free. As always, please support the official release of the series.

Have you done that? Good. Then let’s move onto the meat of this content. I’d like to go back and re-evaluate my perspective on RWBY, a series in production by Rooster Teeth. That’s why on top of analysis videos for the series, I will also be doing retrospective reviews, like this one.

This retrospective will only be an honest, heartfelt look at RWBY from beginning to end. This won’t be like my analysis content. This is largely based on personal opinion, and very little else.

Prior to RWBY the only thing I cared about from Rooster Teeth was Red vs Blue, a Halo related series. I was only a small fan. Beyond that nostalgia of early seasons, I didn’t care for Red vs Blue, and I still don’t. It filled its time in my life for what it was, I am more than happy with it. I still watch the old seasons on occasion.

Rooster Teeth wasn’t really on my radar again until the RWBY Red Trailer and the announcement for RWBY as a series. Everyone I knew kept talking about it. I couldn’t avoid the trailer, it was plastered everywhere on social media, and bandied about at our favorite bar.

At first, I just didn’t see the spectacle in it. The musical backdrop was interesting. I enjoyed that more than the visuals in front of me.

Ruby was a cute looking character, sure. Yeah, she had this gigantic kick-butt scythe. She was even slicing monsters left and right. Some of her attacks looked very similar to job abilities found in the Final Fantasy games. Since I am a huge Final Fantasy XI fan, and enjoy the Dark Knight job, the concept of a scythe wielding bad-ass appeals to me.

Knowing that the RWBY series creator, Monty Oum was a Final Fantasy fan as well is what originally drew my interest to the trailer. Ruby didn’t fit the mold that I expected, but I knew that the series was influenced heavily by his own passions for fandom, and that knowledge is what had me strapping in for the wild ride that the RWBY series was promised to be. I was skeptical, but also hopeful.

At first, I didn’t see what was so amazing about the trailer. I’d watched plenty of anime before, and that heavily influenced my perspective. It still does, to be honest.

In my analysis post, I stated that the RWBY Red Trailer does strictly what it sets out to do. I stand by that. It doesn’t fail in its goals, not even slightly. It’s just not perfect, either. Then again, nothing really is, so let’s dig into this thing.

As I see it, all of the trailers had three basic goals to accomplish. Firstly, to showcase the four main girls. Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, and Yang Xiao Long respectively. The second goal was to teach the viewer how to enjoy the combat in the series. The final goal was to give viewers a taste of the world through the eyes of these characters.

The RWBY Red Trailer introduces us to the first of these girls. Ruby Rose, a young huntress in training.

Ruby’s trailer is all about sentimentality. Although, you might not realize that detail on the first watch. It won’t become clear until after you’ve seen at least Volume 1 of series, it is an important note. However, it’s core themes carries on even now, into Volume 8. I suspect it will carry Ruby Rose and her personal story all the way to the end of the series.

The RWBY Red Trailer is bare bones. It wasn’t cutting edge, and it didn’t try to be. With as low budget as the RWBY series was at the time, it couldn’t afford to pretend to be more than it was. It just didn’t have the budget.

Instead of top of the line animation, fans received animation that focused more upon careful choreography and subtle distinctive movements that define each character. Instead of soundtracks played by full orchestras, music was crafted to resonate with the characters directly. These two things combined is what ultimately made the early volumes of RWBY entertaining to watch.

This makes complete sense, because Monty Oum, the creator of RWBY had several ethos in his life that he spoke about often as animator. You’ve likely heard of these before. One of them is “the rule of cool” which I will speak about at a later time.

Another ethos he has was that to be a good animator, you needed to be good at watching how people lived their lives. This ethos matters for the trailer and his ideas of how characters should be brought to life in general.

Small expressions and actions are the key foundations to characterization. Even in the trailer we see this in spades. I even have a few examples for you.

Notice Ruby’s small smirk, when she’s face to face with the Beowolf. It almost breaks the fourth wall.

It’s almost like she asking us to watch her fight these things. That little smirk doesn’t last long, but it says it all. She’s a little impish, but in this moment she’s self-assured and confidant. Now, compare that moment to the way she walks around in the forest prior to that fight.

Her almost lackadaisical steps across the snow covered land are gentle. They seem light, as if she’s trying not to leave deep tracks.

The sway of her movements imply she’s enjoying herself out in these wilds, she’s likes it here. She also likes fighting these Grimm. It brings her some level of personal satisfaction.

All of this is certainly backed up by the musical composition found in the trailer. As an anime fan, I can easily appreciate when carefully utilized musical talents are pushed to the extreme. “Red Like Roses” manages to pull that off.

The song begins slowly, with a soft melancholy and gentle ambiance as Ruby stands over her mother’s grave. Then, it sets a strong tone that carries through the rest of the piece. Kicking up the beat for Ruby’s fight with the pack of Beowolves keeps the fight interesting when the combat alone couldn’t keep me entirely entertained.

As for the fight scene itself, the choreography is wonderful. Allow me to highlight why. You can anticipate the entire battle, and you can follow along with the flow of the fight. The animation leading up to this showdown has given you everything you need to enjoy this battle.

You can feel each jump and flip, the weight of Ruby as a person.

Since she had been walking light on her feet before, it matches the bunny hops that eventually turn into flips and rolls during combat. The battle here is slower and more precise than we usually see, but since she’s not with a team, and this is a trailer, that makes sense.

The trailer is almost training us, the viewers, how to experience combat in in the series. It’s teaching us how to enjoy these fights, and most of us probably never even noticed that it was doing it.

How is it training us to do this?

Well, this battle keeps the training wheels on for the viewer. Ruby is naturally fast, but she’s slower in this fight, and she does that on purpose. Remember when I said she almost breaks the fourth wall? Well, this would be why I pointed that out.

She’s slower to pull the trigger and fire rounds in her trainer than you usually see in the series. She more mindful of the area around her. When she flips atop a Beowolf, takes the thing’s head off, and then catches some air, we can see this was a carefully planned attack. She did that in order to see her surroundings and the Grimm she’s fighting.

This is what I mean by great choreography. If we’re not following exactly what Ruby’s doing and why, we’re only a single pace or two behind her thoughts and actions. Before the final burst that ends the battle, the music slows and she seems to look at the viewers again, though arguably it’s the wolves off screen that she’s looking at. Still, it’s almost like she’s saying “this is it, what what I can really do.”

The she takes her time to load her weapon and puts a serious look on her face. When she’s about to go “all-out” so to speak, the music ramps up a final time. Then, only after one last pause, she lets loose. After the fight, bullets fall through the air, and Ruby looks self-assured once more. A job well done.

When the scene fades to black viewers are left with two things. The first is a basic concept of physics within the RWBY series. The shattered moon over head, the snow upon the ground, character movements, and other small details have opened us up to this wonderful and vast new world.

The second concept it leaves us with, is a metric upon which all other characters can be evaluated. Now that we’ve seen Ruby fight in a way that almost feels like a game tutorial, we’re more prepared for the later trailers.

The same is true for the songs. We know the lyrics here probably mean something, and we’re prepared to hear the next one and begin putting puzzle pieces together.

Fans did this in spades. Even after the first trailer, theory crafting was flooding the internet. If you were in the fandom during the earliest days, you have the luxury of really remembering this. As the other three trailers came out, a dedicated fan base was already forming. By the time Volume 1 happened, that fan base was already foaming at the mouth for more content.

Final Thoughts

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The trailer is everything it needed to be. A tutorial, an introduction, and a taste of the world. Thanks to the trailer, we have all three. On it’s own this trailer isn’t too remarkable. What makes it stand out is the hindsight you gain after digging into the series properly. I speak of this in my analysis, but the RWBY series is covered in foreshadowing. Every trailer is layered in symbolism that you can extrapolate into deeper meanings for the early volumes.

In the RWBY series, hindsight really is 20/20. It’s important to go back and re-watch the series, trailers included.

This trailer is a touchstone. It’s what started everything. You could say it is the first pebble in puddle, one that would become an ocean of content much later. It is easy to forget that this trailer is really what began the fandom. It may have been the first real taste of the series that fans received in mass, but it is no lesser than its counterparts. In fact I’d argue that historically speaking it’s the most important one.

The first step in a very long journey…

So this is where I leave this trailer, and this post. I’ll continue watching it fondly every now and then. I’ll continue to look back on it, and then I’ll look ahead to the minutia of details buried under its surface.

Maybe now, you will too…

In the next RWBY related post, I’m going to review the trailer that showcases Weiss Schnee, and her battle of mental fortitude, the RWBY White Trailer. I’ll see you there.

Do you want more content until then? Did you know that Kreshenne and I have a Twitch account? We stream games every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Sometimes I stream solo on off days. We also have a Twitter account and a blog. There are links in the description. Please check them out, and don’t forget to like and subscribe.

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This is Kern, and you’ve been watching The Demented Ferrets.

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The Demented Ferrets…

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RWBY Analysis: How Mine Works

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Hello everyone, it’s almost time for my full breakdown of the RWBY series. I will be doing that by making YouTube videos and accompanying blog posts.

Before I do that, I wanted to make this post. Under my previous pen-name, and under my old blog, I had begun doing a retrospective episode-by-episode review of the RWBY series, and I plan to revitalize it and bring it here. I will also be doing analysis content too. The blog posts will also include the video that goes along with it. That way you can watch the video instead of reading about it, if you wish to.

The first two videos, and the blogs regarding the RWBY Red Trailer will go out on Friday, April 9th. This is going to be a massive undertaking, but I really love the RWBY series, so it’s about time I throw my hat in the ring and do more than write fan fiction.

In order to do that, I think it would be best that you understand my way of thinking. This post will contain my analytical basis and how I’ve decided to analyze each episode.

Firstly, I need to issue a standard disclaimer before I begin. Every analysis and review post regrading RWBY will cover my thoughts and opinions on the show. With that being said, an opinion is strictly that. It’s not meant to force you to agree with me.

In fact, I suspect many of you will disagree on several points. I heavily encourage you to formulate your own opinions on the series, as that is the hallmark of a healthy and functional fandom.

The Basis for Analysis

There are four key points that I use for any analysis. They are the following:

  • Diversity of opinion
  • Culture
  • Personal experience
  • Critique

These are in no particular order of importance, but they are things that I use. That being said diversity of opinion, culture, personal experience and critique are fundamental in fandom. This inclusion is the only way to keep a fandom from stagnating. No two minds will think exactly alike. It is important to respect each other, even if we don’t see eye-to-eye.

These four things are what I use to analyze any show, and that includes RWBY. Therefore, I’d like to discuss each one and how it applies to this analysis of the RWBY series.

Opinion

As you can guess this is going to impact my entire view of the show. The awesome, the terrible, and everything in-between. If I like something, I like it. If I don’t like something, I don’t. It’s that simple.

For example, I love the food fight scene in Volume 2. To me, that scene is awesome! That being said, it breaks all logic as we know it in the show. So even while I praise it, I will also point out that it is a very broken scene connotically. 

When a swordfish can remain a functional weapon while pillars are breaking and ceilings are being smashed through, it’s broken.

Awesomely broken, but broken none the less under a strict analysis. That’s why I will also be doing reviews along with analysis content. I cannot simply disregard scenes that break the mold. I wouldn’t want to, because they’re vastly important. The series was created by Monty Oum, and Monty had a rule. He called it “The Rule of Cool”.

If something seemed cool to animate or even just plain stupid fun, sometimes he put it in the show. The food fight scene sticks out to me as one of these moments.

The early volumes, particularly 1, 2 and 3 have plenty of “The Rule of Cool” moments in them. They break logic for the sake of entertainment, and that is a totally functional purpose. Later volumes also have these moments, but they aren’t done in the same way, and therefore shouldn’t be compared. Each volume as it’s own take on these moments, and they evolve accordingly, so to hold them all up to the same level would be flat out stupid.

However, if I were to disregard these moments, or bypass them entirely, I would be doing the series a huge injustice because these scenes are memorable and loved by fans.

Culture

Culture is in everything. You can’t avoid it. Sure, it has its problems sometimes. It’s not perfect, and it never will be. Culture sometimes changes, it sometimes shifts.

Without culture, we don’t have customs or traditions. We don’t have touchstones. Without it, we lose a great deal of our personal identity. Culture shapes all of us, in some ways it’s obvious. In some ways it isn’t. 

I’m a white person that has an extended family of mixed race. My niece and nephew have much darker skin tones than I do, and a culture that is not the same as my own. Therefore I’ve seen what happens firsthand when people use culture and race as a weapon to do harm.

My worldview is shaped through that lens, and when it comes to RWBY, I take issue on several fronts regarding cultural diversity and the lack of it within the series. I see both sides of the coin when it comes to the concepts of culture and diversity within the RWBY series.

Or rather, allow me to say it like this; I see what the story was trying to do, I also see how it failed massively.

However, I don’t see this failing as something completely useless. There are useful things to discuss even within the confines of that failing. I will be doing just that.

For a perfect example: while the racial implications in the series are certainly poorly attempted most of the time, that level of idiocy does mirror society in a LOT of ways. This is 100% a product of social failings, where people are blinded to the problems at hand.

I’d say in some cases this is actually what makes the racism in RWBY so powerful. We don’t see the Faunus plight very well, and in my opinion there is no worst sort of racism than the type that no-one cares to see. The sort of systemic racism that no one sees as a problem in the first place, or even if they do see it as a problem, aren’t inclined to rise up against it. When racism becomes so normalized it becomes a non-issue to the general public, it’s sickening.

I’d argue that this is the sort of systemic racism the RWBY series attempts to depict even as early as Volume 1. I have en example. No one steps up to help Velvet, although someone should have.

Even Pyrrha Nikos doesn’t lift a finger to be of help. She may be disgusted by what she sees, and even makes a comment to her friends about it. Think about that for a moment. The most altruistically inclined characters like Ruby and Pyrrha don’t stand up against Velvet’s mistreatment.

Yet, Pyrrha Nikos also tells Jaune “I really will break his legs” in regards to Cardin’s bullying of Jaune. If he had wanted her to intervene, she would have.

This proves my point that mistreating Faunus is considered a normal behavior for the characters in RWBY. It’s just the way things are, and even the characters that ideologically find it awful, see no need to lend a hand. Perhaps in a way, they see no point to do so, finding it a struggle they couldn’t win anyway.

The show is mostly through the eyes humans and not the Faunus themselves, so of course what would be depicted is through the eyes if the blindly privileged.

However, the fact the show often fails the Faunus and the real world implications are a point of concern. It is something I will be bringing up from time to time.

But, let me be clear.

Racism is awful, it is toxic, but that sort of normalized racism does exist in reality. It has through history, and that is just a fact. The failings of the show is not that racism is depicted in this way, but that ultimately, the one person who should have a voice to add to this nuance doesn’t often have the chance to voice it.

The Faunus plight is not often shown though the eyes of Blake Belladonna. Rather we see more meaningful scenes through the eyes of Sun or Ilia, and to me this poses the biggest issue when it comes to the Faunus plight.

With Blake Belladonna being a main character, central to the show in fact, her opinions should have been shown more in the totality of the volumes. We should have seen both sides of the coin more conclusively. The vast majority should not merely be the side of privilege that the humans of the series entertain. Then again, with the vast majority of main cast members being human, this ideology makes sense to a degree as well.

The issue isn’t a simple one, and there isn’t a “cut and dry” solution, either. The show could have very easily swung in the opposite direction, too. Blake and the other Faunus could have been over the top. That would have seemed preachy and on the nose.

Given my own personal family ties, I have a very particular perspective on this. However, I’ll speak more on that when I dive into the episodes where this becomes an issue. I won’t harp on Volume 1 too much, as it isn’t until Volumes 2 and 3 where Blake is a known Faunus among her team and trusted friends.

Personal Experience

Opinions and cultural backgrounds are powerful enough modifiers to change analysis on their own. However, personal experience adds to that in a way nothing else can.

All of our personal struggles and achievements are very different. No two people will have the exact same experience. My personal experiences certainly impacts the way I view RWBY, and the way I analyze it.

When it comes to the themes of the show, personal experience holds a lot of value to all of us as fans. It is what makes the characters relatable. Weather we like to admit it or not, it builds the foundation of whether or not we agree with the characters and what they do.

For example, I think Jacques is a terrible father, but I also don’t think Taiyang is a good father either. I think they’re both horrible in their own ways. One is just an asshole, and the other is just a flawed man. However they both have shortcomings as parents, and I will be addressing that.

Furthermore, I think Yang is certainly not the “best” older sibling in a lot of ways early in the series. I find that she is not a good role model or even all that supportive where it truly counts early on. That is not to say she is a bad character, far from it. If she was perfect in every way, that would be flat out bad writing from a narrative perspective. She’s just not perfect, either, as no one should be.

I’ll be highlighting those moments, since they appear constantly in Volume 1, and have resurfaced again in volumes 7 and 8. This does not mean that I hate Yang, or that I don’t enjoy her time on screen. It just means that I’m not going to let her, or any character slip through the cracks when they cross major a line. They all do from time to time, but if I call a character out on it, that doesn’t mean I inherently hate them.

I do have characters I hate, mind you. However, that’s just personal opinion. I won’t just bash them even if they aren’t one of my favorites. Most characters in the series have good qualities. Characters commonly on the chopping block for harsh criticism usually have their merits too, and I won’t ignore that.

All of this finally brings me to the last point…

Critique

All three of the above modifiers shape the critical thinking required to analyze a show like RWBY. My talking points, the issues I take with the show, and the praise I give the series all of that comes from the factors I’ve just listed. There are times I may overthink something, or not think much of it at all.

Either way, my critique is never going to be the end-all, be-all of a series.

If anything, it is just one deep dive of many. My love for the show, and hatred of some aspects are based upon the foundations that have shaped me into the person I am today, and I cannot completely remove myself from that lens. Although I will attempt to be as objective as possible.

Got all of that? 

Good, let’s move onto one last caveat. I believe strongly in the phrase “show, don’t tell”. This means that I won’t be taking about anything that isn’t in the series as factual, or even cannon. If it is *NOT* in the RWBY media someplace, it is *NOT* going to be considered for analysis. 

Furthermore, I’m going to consider RWBY a greater universe. Think Sailor Moon or comics in general. The light novels, manga, games, and animated series are all RWBY, but sometimes they heavily contradict each other or “retcon” something.

In general my analysis series will only be using what the media itself contains for its analysis. The other RWBY media will get it’s own separate analysis when it is time to do so.

In Closing

There is plenty to unpack regarding RWBY as a series, from in-depth critique of the show, character analysis, reviews and more. I plan to do just that.

Well, that’s about all I have to say for this post. With this out of the way, I can begin the analysis properly. 

Now I can dive into the series, starting where it all began. The RWBY Red Trailer with both an analysis and a retrospective review. They will be separate posts with differing content. One is critically based analysis, the other is just an opinionated review.

Both videos and blog posts will be posted on April 9th, which is this Friday. Keep in mind that patron supporters get videos a day early. Anyway, I shall see you Friday with this double post of content. See you there.

This has been Kernook of the Demented Ferrets…

“Where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course…”

The Demented Ferrets…

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content.

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At the time of this post there are 3 notable contributors.

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Thoughts About RWBY Volume 8

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Video Production of This Script

This post now has a video to go along with it. This is the finished video regarding the script, so you can watch instead of read.



Hey everyone, it’s Kernook here. This is an off the cuff post, it’s not carefully edited, I’m literally just writing this and tossing it, but I really liked Volume 8, and I wanted to discuss why.

This isn’t a review of the volume. I’ll get to that one day, as I’ll begin to do review and analysis content starting where it all began on April 9th, which is on Friday. I believe reviews take careful personal reflection, but now that most of the fandom has had the chance to finish watching RWBY Volume 8, I want to take the time to express my thoughts on it.

First let me just say, I thought RWBY Volume 8 was a large step above Volume 7. I really disliked many of the narrative choices in Volume 7, and found that it felt rushed in too many ways. I wondered if I would have liked them more if there had been a bit more time to flesh them out. Penny’s revival for example took place in Volume 7. As much as I love Penny, and I really do think she is a wonderful character, I wasn’t happy with the way she was brought back simply because it felt so unaddressed by important characters. I wanted a little more exploration emotionally, I suppose you could say.

That wasn’t the only instance where the feeling of being rushed is what ultimately made me feel as the heart and soul of the series was truly lost. However, I’m happy to say that RWBY Volume 8 brought the feeling of the show that I loved back into fruition in a lot of ways. I’m happy for that, even if I’m not in agreement with every single thing that took place. In some areas RWBY Volume 8 felt rushed too, but those were far different reasons this go around. Many of them at least made sense to me when it came to the greater narrative, so I am not nearly as bothered by that.

I don’t really want to linger on the particular details of the show at this moment. Penny’s death, Jaune’s involvement with it, the way certain characters gained small victories, and the progression regarding Nora are all very interesting points to discuss at length. There are a vast many ideas held by the fandom about these topics and more, but I just want to sit back and think about the larger feeling of RWBY Volume 8 for now.

What I feel is a small sense of comfort. The thing about Volume 8 that I love most is how it mirrors Volumes 1, 2 and 3. In so many ways it felt like an early Volume. This time the story wasn’t about the bigger plot, but those tiny emotional details. For me, I like the RWBY series the least when we get what I like to call the “mindless Power Ranger moments”. You know the moments I’m talking about. Big and flashy, but ultimately empty in the aftermath, and RWBY Volume 8 kept that to a very distinct minimum this go around.

What we had this go-around was special. Early volume purists, this was OUR volume. This was our time to love the series anew. I think later volumes have jaded us to what used to be so simple. I’ve seen a lot of people say that Team RWBY got shoved on the back burner this volume, but I staunchly disagree.

We got something really special here, buried under the apocalyptic end of the world garbage. We got character progression in a way that well and truly hits home in this volume, and has the strong potential to hit home again later on. There is so much wonderful stuff here, and I really want to talk about that, so let’s dive in.

The moral disputes between Ruby and Yang were mirror images of early volume story lines between the siblings. In Volume 1, Ruby and Yang have an argument in the Beacon Academy locker room before initiation. Ruby is being very clingy, and Yang is trying to teach Ruby about being part of a team, and how important that really is. In Volume 8, that argument is mirrored. Ruby and Yang don’t see eye-to-eye any more. We get a full story arc of these two sisters having a huge blowout argument, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Weiss and Blake had the fight about bigotry in volume 1.

The blowout split the groups for a bit, and culminates in another huge plot drop. The discussion of Grimm being made from humans, and what that might mean for Summer Rose. That has been a fan theory found in fan fiction ever since the early volumes. Some of those written works back then were truly loved and adored for what that explored. Now, we writers have that as a factual possibility…

Isn’t that awesome? I think it is, because that gives us a lot of material to expand upon.

We have even more than that, though. We have the moment with Blake and Ruby, tying into reason why Blake was so closed off in those early volumes. Why she was so distant is wonderfully explained here. Blake’s time with Ruby in Volume 8 gave us some truly wonderful moments for shippers of “Ladybug” as well. It does it in a way that doesn’t hurt the Bee’s ship in the slight either. It does no harm, but a world of good.

The shattering and reforging of emotional bonds among certain members of team RWBY and Penny are right up there with Volumes 2 and 3. This only scratches the surface. Winter and Weiss as siblings had some huge progression as well, and other loved characters had their moments to come into the limelight.

As for the decision about Jaune killing Penny, I have mixed thoughts. However, one thing comes to mind the most. I think it is perfect possible progression for team RWBY as a whole. Jaune did something Ruby couldn’t bring herself to do, and ethically likely wouldn’t do. What will Ruby say in the face of that? I can’t help but wonder.

The RWBY series has always been mired deep in the concepts of morals and ethics. Be it the core themes, or merely ideological disagreement, this has been the entire crux of the series. Weiss facing down against Blake in Volume 1, Character plots like Yang and Raven’s, or the Schnee family as a whole, moral conflict has always been the driving force of the show.

RWBY Volume 8 returned to that in ways we haven’t seen since those all too early volumes, and returned to it in spades. It’s not perfect, not by far, but I love Volume 8, because it makes me recall why I loved this show in the first place.

I’m an old volume purist, but I think Volume 8 deserved to stand among them, because it does what volumes 4, 5, 6, and 7 failed to do. It brought us back to the moral themes that stands as the foundation upon which the characters stand. It did it with love, it did it with care, and most of all we as a fandom have more plot to chew because of it.

These are things to hold as a success, even if the volume itself was far from perfect. It is much like its predecessors in that way, all of them, including the old volumes.

What did you think of Volume 8? Leave a reply and let me know. I’d love to talk about the volume with you. This has been Kernook of the Demented Ferrets…

“Where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course…”

The Demented Ferrets…

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content.

Patreon Supporters

At the time of this post there are 3 notable contributors.

Demented Minions: Francis Murphy, Josh Sayer, and Andrew Wheal.

If You Enjoyed This Content…

Please consider following us on this blog. We also have other platforms with content to enjoy. At the time of this post we have a Twitter, Twitch, YouTube.

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TwitterAnnouncements, Random tweetsWhenever a live stream begins or content releases. Doesn’t have a set schedule.
Our BlogAll kinds of written media including anime, games, RWBY and more.Posts are published every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12:00 PM (GMT)

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