Tag Archives: Fandom

Kern’s Collections: Assassination Classroom

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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.


The Script

A world filled with unreasonable expectations, and a class of students unable to match them. For them, it’s the end of the line, What sits before them is a task they can’t hope to achieve as they are, and this world will only accept them at their best. Their job is to do what the adult world cannot. They need to take down their teacher, and do it before the planet itself ceases to exist.

Hello everyone, it’s Kernook here, and welcome to another Kern’s Collections.

Today I’ll be speaking about Assassination Classroom.

Once again. these are not full fledged review. These are merely glimpses of media, any why they may be worth your time.

So, let’s take a look at the misfit students who’ve been cast aside to the small schoolhouse on the hill, and the monster that is their teacher.

On the surface, Assassination Classroom has a school life vibe from the very start, mixed with more than a few shounen elements for good measure. The series doesn’t let you be fooled by this for long. Sure, it may seem to have all of the trappings of both genre’s crammed together, but that’s just the surface.

Instead of merely the protagonist being down on his luck, the whole class are labeled outcasts in a society that expects only the best out of them. These students are a strong ensemble cast, each of them unique, and with their own views of the world around them.

There’s an innocence that has been corrupted here, twisted by the malignancy of their own minds. Be it a poor self image, discontentment with their lots in life, or merely a failure to mold themselves into the people they wish to be, every student in this class faces adversity in one way, shape, or form.

They’re all underdogs to the world at large, even if among themselves there is clear pecking order when it comes to popularity and the friends they surround themselves with. Even from the first episode there’s a thick tension in the room, all of it made worse by their teacher.

Korosensei is not quite a monster, but he’s certainly no longer human either. His reasons for his current existence is a spoiler, so I’m not going to dig into it. What I will say instead, is that he is a reflection of his students in many ways, and therefore proves himself to be their ultimate foe.

Korosensi is in every way their superior. In fact, he is in every way superior to humanity itself. This is both because he understands human nature, and values the concept of nurturing the youths that will grab hold of the future.

If the students can beat him, they can beat anyone. If they can aspire to learn what he has to teach, they will no doubt be better for it. Ultimately the real battle is the one that takes place within themselves, however it manifests on screen in the form of combat against Korosensi purely icing on the cake.

This is a battle of wits. It all comes down to the heart and soul of the matter. How the students feel, and what they hope to gain largely influences the entire series to a point that the on screen battles never could.

Viewers will find at least one character to relate to, of that I am sure. What can be questioned are the characters themselves, and just how far they will eventually go. The ending is very fitting, but it’s laid out from the start.

This series doesn’t have a lot of plot twists, but the ones it has are darkly implied. In practice it never goes too far, the series is usually very light and easy to consume, but there are a few villains in the series that well and truly mean to do harm in ways that are not forgivable.

This brings me to the subject of morality, a key focal point in the series. Things are morally gray, both for the students aiming to take down their teacher, and the seedy underbelly they’re introduced to because of it. The students are trained by assassins, military, and their teacher directly.

The series paints two logical ideologies for the students to cling onto. Self worth can be found both in their own personal merits as people, or it can be found at the sharp end of a blade and forced victory. Neither of these ideologies are painted as wrong, or inaccurate. Therefore it’s up to the students to decide how best to go about reaching their ambitions.

Korosensei is the the vessel for all of this. Contrasting world views muddle and mix in a way that I find more interesting than the fights themselves. While it’s true you could just enjoy the anime like your typical popcorn shounen, there is a deeper narrative to be found here. All you have to do is search for those darker implications buried beneath the dialogue.

Ultimately, I really enjoy this series. Assassination Classroom is an anime that touches on the heart and soul of the matter. For these characters, victory would be biter sweet, and failure isn’t an option that they can accept. The struggle is as much personal to each character, as it is a group endeavor.

The series is not gigantically long, making it very easy to enjoy. At forty-seven episodes and an OVA, there’s enough content to dive deep into many of the characters, while keeping the plot fairly tight.

This is where I leave it for now. The rest is up to you. If you want to watch Assassination Classroom, you can do that on the Funimation and Hulu…

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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2021 Spring Anime Season- What I’m Excited For

Hey everyone, it’s Kern here. I just wanted to highlight some series I’m looking forward to in this new anime line-up. The winter season made big promises, but in some ways a few series just couldn’t live up to the hype (Promised Neverland I’m looking at you).

Then there were shows with the hype that still contained a few scheduling kerfuffles. Seriously, Cells at Work and Cells at Work: Code Black were both aired in the winter season, and that was just too much. I haven’t gotten around to Cells at Work: Code Black because I just didn’t have the time to dive into it.

A few very dishonorable mentions and profound levels of idiocy aside, there is no question that the winter season gave us some very good shows. New anime and sequel fodder alike had this season bursting at the seams with compelling content. Depending on what your tastes in anime are, you could probably find something in your wheelhouse.

The problem could be for a hard core anime fan, there was almost too much to pick from. For example, I dropped Dr. Stone entirely because it couldn’t keep my interest the way that other series did. That’s not a slight to the franchise, and I might pick it up again later. It’s just that for me there was other compelling content to watch.

That said, I’ve always known that for me spring, summer, and fall would contain the bulk of my interests this year.

Before I get into that though, I wanted to give a brief nod to the anime Wonder Egg Priority for surprising the absolute crap out of me. It was a series I went into tentatively, but I’m so glad I did. It was far deeper and more complex than I could have ever initially given it credit for.

I had an idea of what the show was going for, but I thought it might end up convoluted, or perhaps too convoluted for it’s own narrative ambition. It proved me wrong on so many levels. I had to watch the series twice, merely because the narrative it tries to tell has merit in re-watching it. I wouldn’t say that the series is perfect by far. Still, highly enjoyable though.

So, kudos to Wonder Egg Priority, for not being the mindless drivel I presumed the show would be when it first released. For me it was one of many highlights in the winter season, and honestly I can’t praise it enough.

With that said though, while the winter season was a grab bag of many anime, spring’s line-up has a narrower focus. There aren’t as many highly anticipated series, and I suspect there will be a few sleepers this time around.

So, let’s look at a few shows I’m excited for in the spring seasonal line-up.

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Brief Mentions of Sequles

I don’t want to linger too long on this, but the spring anime line-up has a bunch of sequel fodder as well. Perhaps too much, all things considered. There is only one that I am super excited for, but that said the usual expectations make their appearance.

Zombieland Saga: Revenge will be offering a second season to the pop idol zombie series. On top of that you have the obvious choices such as the final season of Fruits Basket and My Hero Academia: Season 5.

Those series, coupled with the dredges of last season’s holdovers gives us just enough to get by. That being said though, there is one sequel that I think really is worth talking about.

Nomad: Megalo Box Season 2

Megalo Box was by far one of the most enjoyable anime for me back in 2018, and for good reason. The boxing anime had a decent amount of action, but it was the characters that had me coming back for more. I can’t say I’m a fan of boxing, but to me that’s what makes this series so interesting.

Generally, with sports anime, the thing that keeps the viewer most entertained is the confines of the sport itself. Compelling characters are vastly important, sure, but the sport is generally their fixation. This means that if you can’t relate to the character, it can be incredibly hard to relate with them.

I may not be a huge boxing fan, but Megalo Box held my interest due to the struggle of the main protagonist. It was a gritty anime, rough around the edges with animation and a soundtrack to match, and this appealed to me.

The first episode of season two aired earlier this month. Aptly named Nomad: Megalo Box 2, it takes place five years after the events of season 1.

This is one of the anime I was talking about when I said it may be a bit of a sleeper. See, as much as I loved Megalo Box during it’s initial run, and still enjoy it today, that doesn’t seem the case across wider anime fandom. It fell out of discussion rather quickly, all things considered. Almost as if it had been forgotten about and tossed to the side.

I don’t know about you, but I’m actually pretty excited for this anime. The next one on my watch-list list isn’t so

Eden Zero

Every season I pick an anime that I’m incredibly dubious about, and Eden Zero is that anime for the spring line-up. See, I wasn’t a huge fan of Fairy Tail and this series is from the same manga artist. So, needless to say, it was the perfect choice.

Why am I excited about an anime that I fully admit to being skeptical about? Good question, for me it comes down to the challenge. If I complete disregard anime I assume I won’t like, I limit myself in ways I find unsatisfactory.

My dislike of Fairy Tail came from its pacing. I entered into the series late in the game, and trying to slog through the series ended up making it wholly enjoyable. Then again, taking it slow held little merit for me because I had friends heavily invested in the series, which resulted in massive spoilers. In the end, dropping Fairy Tail was a no brainier, because I missed out on what makes such long running series enjoyable for me. Talking about it with my friends are the reason I’d even enjoy such a series in the first place, and lacking that there was no reason for me to continue.

Eden Zero offers that opportunity. Now weather it will hold my attention or not is up in the air. However, the hype my personal friends and I have for the series is enough to make me excited.

There is just one little problem. Netflix has the streaming rights to this thing. Meaning that sadly it’ll be held back from viewers until the season is complete and able to be binge watched. That could be the deal breaker for me depending on how long I have to wait, but I can ride the hype train for now.

So that’s what I looking forward to in this line-up. I need some time to catch up on some holdovers from the winter season, so this is the perfect time for that.

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.

Kern’s Collections: Space Brothers



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Opening

Hello everyone, it’s Kernook here. This is a segment called “Kern’s Collections”, a series dedicated to brief glimpses of media and why you might enjoy them.

This is not a review, but merely a simple glance at an anime that could be worth your time.

Today I’ll be talking about Space Brothers.

The anime came out in the spring of 2012. Although it never saw a true completion, the story we got was well worth your time. You’ll have to read the written media if you want the full story though.

To be honest, this is one of my favorite anime of its decade. Furthermore to me this is the perfect gateway anime for someone that isn’t particularly invested in anime as a medium. When it comes to great gateway anime for older viewers, I try to stick to anime titles that are fairly down to earth.

Space Brothers is one the the absolute best options out there in my personal opinion.

It looks nice, it isn’t incredibly stupid or bombastic, and although it has some mature content, you could still watch it around youths comfortably. So, small children need not be disturbed.

There is nothing completely grotesque in this anime. Though there are some medical scenes, fragments of adult humor, and other things tied directly to the main plot, nothing is gratuitous.

There are no impossible fight scenes, and the adventure rests largely within the realm of possibility. The direct premise is the idea of space travel itself. The core ideas hinge on realistic dreams. They linger in the ideology that space travel is possible. That one day we may one day colonize on the moon, and perhaps visit mars.

The plot is simple. Two brothers aspire to be astronauts. One brother achieves his dream. The other decides to follow in his footsteps. This shows a life of an aspiring astronaut and the trials and tribulations he goes through to reach his goals.

In some ways, I’d call this series closer to a slice-of-life than a true science fiction series. It’s certainly not a space opera, either. The themes aren’t too heavy, but there’s a lot of heart and soul embedded in each episode, giving the characters a very genuine feel to them.

On the topic of that, the characters span wide range of interests and skills that are fundamental to working within the space programs. Very little comes easy to even these bright minds. You get to see these mostly successful adults living their lives, with plenty of flashbacks into their childhood and upbringing. Each character is very well written because of that.

To be honest, Space Brothers stands as a “catch-all” anime for me. If I don’t know what anime to pick out for a new viewer, I always go with Space Brothers. It is especially accessible for an american viewer because the idea of going to outer space is part of our mass media to begin with. It’s a concept and idea that we understand, and flock towards in mass.

The idea isn’t that far fetched, and even once characters are shown going into space, they don’t throw away basic logic. Things make sense more times than not, and you have no need to understand what anime is to like this series.

That it isn’t an animated space opera is a huge bonus here, because tropes that could be confusing don’t exist in this anime. What is important is the heart of the matter, and Space Brothers understands that.

These are the reasons you really should give it a try, particularly if you have dislike of anime as a medium, or simply don’t understand it. The content isn’t too dissimilar than what you’d find in down to earth live action shows.

So, this is where I leave Space Brothers, and now the choice falls onto you. There is a real gem nestled buried beneath time, and as of this video you can watch it over on Crunchy Roll.

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.

PLATFORMCONTENTSCHEDULE
TwitchLive streamsTuesday: 9:00 PM – 12 AM (GMT)
Wednesday: 9:00 PM – 12:00 AM (GMT)
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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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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 had 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 trailer 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 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.

“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.

PLATFORMCONTENTSCHEDULE
TwitchLive streamsTuesday: 9:00 PM – 12 AM (GMT)
Wednesday: 9:00 PM – 12:00 AM (GMT)
Saturday: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM (GMT)
YouTubeStream archive. Occasional Anime/Game/Movie reviews. Deep dives/analysis of RWBY.Videos upload Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12:00 PM (GMT)
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)

There are plenty of ways to support us. To find out more, click the button below.

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.

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


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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.
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A moment to Remember – Yaphet Kotto

If you’re here, you’ve probably heard that Yaphet Kotto passed away. I don’t want to talk about his passing, but rather I want to talk about his legacy. What he left behind. This isn’t a usual blog post, and unlike my other blog posts, I won’t be leaving the typical links. Also, this isn’t carefully edited or mindfully crafted. It’s just me, writing what I think and feel.

I want this post to be a reflection of my own recollections of him through the eyes of a fan. I wasn’t a huge fan of him, but he was intrinsic to my youth, and that’s what I want to recall fondly.

Memories of happier, simpler days when he lit up our television screen in the mundane afternoons. My family gathered around our television set, while I was too young to think of it as anything other than normalcy.

If you were a fan of bond films, or such classics as Alien, you probably saw Yaphet Frederick Kotto on screen plenty of times over the years. Even if you don’t know who he was, you probably knew of his work in the film and television industry. You knew his face, if not his name.

For me growing up, that’s what it was like. So, I wanted to take a moment to recall his career, and my earliest recollections as a fan. My parents are older, so I grew up with shows from the sixties, seventies and eighties. Old re-runs of shows like Gun Smoke, Hawaii Five-O  and Murder, She Wrote were series that were fairly common in my household growing up.

Yaphet Kotto made an appearance on all of these shows, and my earliest memories weren’t as a fan of him, but as a child playing in front of the television set. If you were also a 90’s kid with older parents like myself, you probably also grew up around his works, rather than with his works.

Still it was that experience in my early childhood that made him a household name for me. It wasn’t his larger roles, it was his smaller ones. That’s what made me want to watch things like Alien as an adult, and play video games like Alien: Isolation. It’s what made me look deeper into his entire filmography.

Knowing of him, made me want to see more about him and the roles he played. That alone, made me become a fan.

This man represents a time in my life when I was just a kid. When his works were too mature for a young child like myself to fully understand. His voice wafting across the screen during lazy summertime naps, and while rolling dice for board games that we’d play to whittle the hours away.

Yaphet Kotto is just one of many actors like this for me. A face, a name and a voice, that occasionally warmed my home thanks to his glow on the television. Seeing that he passed away, and everyone sharing their fond memories over twitter on his memory page made me want to do the same, but I just can’t partake.

I wish I could say I was a huge fan of his works, but for me that’s not why this hits so hard. For me, it’s another loss of my youth. A reminder that times are swiftly changing. My younger cousins will never get to have the upbringing that I did. The days of dial-up internet meant that I wasn’t on there all the time. The television was the central location in our home. Yaphet Kotto and his many roles became part of that, and for me, that is what I will always remember.

I offer my sincerest condolences to his family and friends. To his likely sprawling fan base, my you forever love his works and ambitions. He has left these behind as a gift for us. So may we enjoy them to the fullest. Finally, I wish him a peaceful rest wherever his soul may travel…

Claire Redfield – A Remake Letdown

Since I just recently reviewed Resident Evil 2, a title that was released (1998) I thought it was prudent To discuss a character from that game and the personal impact that Clair Redfield had on me as a fan.

The reason I wanted to write this was because I grew up with this character, and now a younger cousin of mine is as well. I feel the need to reflect on this, because thanks to the remake a character I once really liked in this fandom has been tarnished significantly. These are the reasons why.

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As I said in my review of the retro title, Resident Evil 2 improved on the standard formula of the first game, but it didn’t forget what made it so well loved in the first place. It changed nothing that would hinder the experience, only enhance it. You can read the full review here.

Claire Redfield originally made her first appearance in the game. She’s come to the city looking for her older brother. By the time she gets there, he’s already gone to a safer location.

The city is infested with zombies, it isn’t safe. By the time she discovers that her brother isn’t in the city anymore, all hell has broken loose. She needs to leave too, and working together with Leon seems to be the safest bet. They agree to try and help a few survivors if they find any during their escape.

During Claire’s scenarios the player will be tasked with helping a little girl named Sherry Birkin. This is a somewhat key focal point for Claire’s main story. After culling the zombie horde and traversing a police station, sewers, and even an underground lab, eventually you escape the city with the Leon and Sherry.

If you’ve done everything right, you get a happy little ending that fades into the sunset. They’re you’re given a grade and score encouraging you to play again and get a better rank next time.

Claire promises to find her brother before the credits roll. Her story isn’t finished, and you’ll see her in later games.

The Resident Evil franchise has a knack for writing strong female protagonists, and there are no shortage of reasons why these characters are beloved by the fans of the games. That being said, Claire Redfield is probably one of my favorite characters in the entire series, at least as far as the retro titles are concerned.

In the early games, Claire is a little sassy, but all around sweet and sentimental. She’s got a kind heart, and a level headed optimism that plays a great counterpoint to Leon’s nearly blind obsession with doing the right thing.

While Leon almost fancies himself a hero in a police uniform, Claire is more down to earth about her ambitions and what she can be capable of. There’s a real soft side to her character that ultimately allows her to befriend Sherry Birkin. Through the events of the series, Claire sets herself on a path to help heal the wrongdoings and nightmares that plague the world.

I wish I could say I that liked the remake version of Claire Redfield just as much as her retro counterpart, but sadly this just isn’t the case. She’s a different character fundamentally and there are a few reasons why.

Claire Redfield is a far cry from her retro counterpart in the way she acts in the remake. Her personality and disposition are gritter, just like everything else. This version of her has a propensity to curse up a storm. She’s far more sassy and quick to fire off at the mouth, and there are times she’s flat out rude.

I don’t find these traits to be likable in the way she portrays them, and this isn’t to say she isn’t written well. She is very well conceptualized for this darker and gritter version of the game, but it’s hard for me to like her.

In fact, I hate this version of her character. Claire grows into having a certain amount of cynicism as time goes on in the franchise. After the series lore and the things she’s seen, that’s completely logical and understandable. Yet, this is tempered by the fact that she’s down to earth enough to recognize what she’s doing.

Now when I play Resident Evil games, I look for the charm and whit of the series. That was what the series taught me to do in my youth, and characters like Jill, Claire, and later in the GameCube era Rebecca were the ones that I heavily attached to. These women have diverse and complex personalities, which makes them incredibly easy to idolize. Young gamers need those idols. They’re no different than superheros in that way.

All of these characters become more cynical as time marches forward. However, to revamp Claire into this type of person from the start for the remake, is something that makes me not want to play the game at all.

I like the remake, but I’ve played it through about four times, and I’ve already gotten sick of it. Meanwhile, when I play the retro classic, I’m never sick of it. The reason for this is that Claire and Leon play off each other so well in the original version that I’m reminded of the journey these characters go on. As a gamer, I want to follow that journey.

Playing the retro games make me want to relive other great stories too, such as the ones in Code Veronica and Resident Evil 4.

There’s a real earnest side to Claire that gets buried under the grit and grime of the remake. She’s always been a tough person with a thick skin and the mindset to get things done.

She’s a real icon to younger gamers everywhere, and I’m offended that the remake just didn’t do their due diligence to keep what made her so awesome as a character in tact.

Although, that’s a more personal gripe than just being salty over a difference in characterization. Like I said, she is still very well written, but she isn’t exactly someone kids can look up to anymore, and that’s sad.

The thing is, I saw this first hand. So, maybe that soured my experience with the game a bit. For me, it’s the heart of the matter, though. It’s that I saw a true fan of this cool character become disheartened in a way I never expected.

You see, I have a few female cousins that are now just nearly teenagers. One of them loves the retro Resident Evil 2. She is enamored with Claire, just like I was as a kid. She even has a poster of the character on her wall. Actually, it’s my old one from a gaming magazine that I’d bought as a child.

She was so excited to play the new game, and I even let her come over and spend the night so that she could play it with me the night it released. So, there we were, a bag of Little Cesar’s crazy bread and a two liter bottle of soda in hand. The download completed, and of course we start up the game and play as Claire first.

We beat that play-through about fifteen hours later, after much death and plenty of slogging through every area of maps to the point of flat out stupidly at times. She really liked looking at all the little things they added, and when she had the controller she may have gotten a little too brave with kiting the zombies…

Yes, like I said, many game over screens occurred between the both of us. However, even though she kind of liked the game, she didn’t like Claire at all. When I asked about it, the response I got was confused and sad.

My cousin literally just… for a lack of a better term crinkled her nose and said “That’s not Claire. I don’t like her, she’s not very nice.”

Now I attribute that statement to the fact that the original game just doesn’t have talking when it isn’t in a cut-scene. The remake does. As you’re fighting monsters and exploring around, sometimes you hear a lot of not-so-nice things come flying out of Claire’s mouth. Her reactions to things are certainly realistic, but they do diminish those good attributes I spoke of above.

In the remake, she’s a lot less a hero in a biker suit. At least insofar as a young girl would be able to be inspired by. I realize my cousin she wasn’t the core age demographic for the game, but that has never once mattered when it came to the series before.

Recently, I discovered that it certainly didn’t matter as far as the remake for Resident Evil 3 was concerned either. She loved that one too, even when I absolutely didn’t.

The only game she hasn’t played in the franchise is Resident Evil 7. I think she’s just a little too young for that one. There are a few things in that game she just isn’t ready for. In my opinion, it’s a little too dark, and a little too edgy for her just yet. Every now and then, she still asks if she’s old enough to play it.

That’s the kind of fan I’m talking about here. It’s hard for her to dislike a Resident Evil game at all. She hasn’t asked to play the remake of Resident Evil 2 ever since the night of release. She doesn’t even want to play Leon’s side of it. She just doesn’t care.

That really put Claire as a character into perspective for me.

To say that my cousin was disappointed in Claire is a huge understatement. This is now thirteen year old girl is no Resident Evil slouch, either. Her first game was Resident Evil 1 for the PlayStation, full of campy dialogue and content that really can’t be called scary to a modern gamer. When she beat that, she wanted to play the remake for the GameCube.

I was a skeptic about that for sure. Back then, she was only eight years old at the time, and those monsters looked way more realistic. I didn’t think she would even get passed the first zombie encounter, to be honest. Still, I let her play it with me at her side. She proved me wrong.

This kid spent well over a month during the summer as an eight year old playing through the GameCube version of Resident Evil 1 top to bottom. That’s when I knew I had a real fan on my hands, so I unearthed everything I had from the series.

She survived through Resident Evil 2 for the PlayStation and liked it so much, I gave her my Nintendo 64 copy of the game. That way, she could have some version to play whenever she wanted. This is a girl that absolutely annihilated Resident Evil 3 for the PlayStation, and muddled through Code Veronica on my Dreamcast in a single winter break when we were up at a cabin a few years back.

When every little kid on the planet seemed to be Five Nights at Freddy’s, crazy that little girl was a zombie fan to the extreme. If I had a Resident Evil game in my collection, she was going to drive me absolutely crazy until I let her play it.

So with all of this being said, for me the night we played the remake of Resident Evil 2 I really wanted my cousin to like that game. For me, that would have been by far the best gaming experience I could ever have.

I wanted her to enjoy it just as much as all the others. When Resident Evil 6 could at the very least accomplish that much, I was pretty sure that the bar wasn’t all that high to reach.

Man, was I wrong.

All I wanted, was to to see the magic that a game could bring to a young die-hard fan. In a way, I guess you could say I wanted to re-live my own youth a little bit as well.

Every gamer eventually finds a title in a franchise that rips away the magic. A game that lets them down. For my cousin, that game was the remake of Resident Evil 2.

It’s a good game, it really is. Sadly though, it just can live up to the heart of the matter.

I prefer to Read Fan Fiction instead of Best Selling Books – Here’s Why.

Fan fiction can be hit and miss. It is both a messy media and a crap shoot. Some fan fiction writers have the chops to strike out on their own and write a unique best selling work of their own creation.

Other fan fiction writers could never hope to attain that same quality at their current skill level. Even so, I’d rather read fan fiction over most best selling novels out there.

For all the snappy dialogue and punchy editing, most best selling books have me losing interest as soon as I turn the first few pages. It always seems so pristine to me, in a way that’s just outright off-putting.

Recently I realized why.

It is the editing process that ruins most books for me. It’s the reek of mass media posturing and the inevitable stifling of creative energy. This ultimately destroys the vast majority of written media for me. Most books are about sixty thousands words. A great many fan fictions average about one-hundred thousand words per story, and that’s not including sequels.

Yes, that means they can be clunky to read, but you can also be sure that the fan writing it put exactly what they wanted into it.

That isn’t to say that books can’t be longer too. However, it is to say that they are usually streamlined in a way that feels watered down and washed out to me.

At its core, the only difference between a piece of media for sale and a piece of media given freely, is the expected return on investment.

For fan fiction that investment is generally only emotional. It’s payment for the soul, you could say. People are either using fan fiction to hone their skills, or to become part of a greater community. It’s a selfish thing by it’s nature, because fandom is selfish in general. Fans can be rabid and territorial about the things they like, because it means something to them.

We like what we like, after all. Thus, we hate what we hate, as well.

When you read a fan fiction you enjoy and then post a review, you’re feeding that creative energy. You’re harboring that love that can only be given from one fan to another while bonding over a shared piece of media.

For written media being sold, this is not the case. There’s a monetary incentive that fan fiction just doesn’t have tied to it. With that incentive in mind, the devil is in the details.

I often have to wonder how much content get’s cut, because making a book isn’t exactly cheap. You’re limited by what the mass public will accept and at the mercy of publishing houses unless you strike out on your own.

I don’t want to read that kind of crap. I don’t want to think about what may have been yanked out, simply because an editor demanded it.

I read fan fiction because I love the flawed media. You can really see a writer’s ambition in works that don’t have an editor to scrutinize every little thing. There is no streamlined process for fan fiction, no hoops to jump through, no particular standard of quality that must be met by publishing overlords.

Does that mean that some fan fiction is absolute crap? Well, yeah! Sure, there’s some really bad fan fiction out there. However, there are also published books out there that are just as full of crap, and lacked due diligence as well…

Worst of all, you likely paid for that garbage with hard earned money in order to read it. Think about that. How many books did you buy and regret? For me, that number is well over twenty. No, I’m not kidding.

This is why I really do hate what many people hold aloft “best sellers” as though they’re God’s gift to the world. Now, in light of fairness, I don’t hate all best selling books. I keep several on my shelf. For example, Tuesdays with Morrie, written by Mitch Albom is one of the best books I have ever read in my entire life.

I have owned three copies of that book in my lifetime. I have read it so many times I broke the first one’s spine as in the ninth grade. The second one died a horrible doom in my early twenties thanks to a small child running around with a black sharpie in hand. A sad lesson was learned that day amidst all the scribbles.

Never leave beloved books on coffee tables…

Anyway, you see my point. There are books I do adore, however they are very few and far between. Fan fiction is the majority of my reading, and I usually blast through through several hundred-thousand words in a single sitting. When I sit down to read, I do so to eagerly.

For a fan, being a best seller doesn’t matter. You’re not selling the story. You’re sharing it wholeheartedly with other fans. All that matters is the writer takes a chance and puts their efforts into a creation that means something special to them.

Fan fiction are stories written by fandom, and that is ultimately what I like so much about it. It acts like a touch stone in a very particular way, unifying people with very little barrier to entry.

You can’t say the same about other types of written media, and best sellers least of all. That fact that it’s a best seller in the first place ,is the absolute complete antithesis of what a fan fiction should be.

The ethos behind writing them are fundamentally different beasts by nature.

Now, this is of course a symbiotic relationship. You need to be a fan of something to write fan fiction. That is the definition of what fan fiction is. It would be stupid to claim otherwise.

That being said, there are times that the fan fictions out there are far and away better than the original work they came from. This is simply because a fan of the series is the one writing it to begin with. Either subverting expectation, or diving deeper into the over-all narrative in a way the original creator couldn’t do, or simply chose not to do.

I hate the concept of best selling books, but I love fan fiction that gets created because of media that fans nurture and continue to hold in high regard.

Fan fiction is usually far from perfect. It cannot be perfect due to what it is, but that’s why I love it so much. That alone is the simple reason why.

Romance In RWBY: Pyrrha and Jaune (Arkos)

As of Volume 3 the “Arkos” ship is past cannon contentment only, but I still enjoy the concept of the ship and thought it prudent to talk about it today. At the time of this post Volume 8 is in full swing, and soon to be completed.

I really want to get into discussing RWBY content and this is as good a place to start as any when it comes to shipping since it is a ship that (as far as fans know) doesn’t need to compete with possible cannon content in later volumes yet to be released.

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Pyrrha Nikos and Jaune Arc comprise the pairing affectionately named “arkos” by the fan community. For the first three volumes of RWBY, Jaune and Pyrrha are teammates that grow into being vague lovers. In the end of volume three Pyrrha dies and Jaune must live on.

Volumes four, five, and six show Jaune learning to heal from his grief. His slow emotional recovery is well done, probably some of the best I’ve seen in a production like RWBY.

As of Volume 8, it’s safe to say that Jaune has mostly recovered from his grief at this point. Though there are moments where it crops up on occasion. So let’s take a look at this romantic pairing a little more closely.

Early Beginnings

In volume one, the romance is entirely one sided. Jaune’s eyes are on Weiss, not Pyrrha. Of course, Pyrrha doesn’t make her feelings truly known, either. Jaune is typically very dense.

In volume two Jaune and Pyrrha become a cannon pairing. However, Pyrrha’s tragic death in volume three also opens the way for Jaune to pair off with someone else in later seasons. Unless the writers of the show somehow bring Pyrrha back to life, it’s safe to say she’s gone for good.

I don’t personally sail this ship from a cannon perspective, but I do read fan fiction with the pairing in it. For me, it depends entirely on the setting. Alternate universe fan fiction, or fan fiction in the Beacon/Vale timeline can be well written. People who choose to write the pairing earnestly can often offer an entertaining read.

I do think that Jaune and Pyrrha have better “fannon” pairings for each of them. They’re little bit messy as a romantic pairing. In early cannon, Jaune is oblivious and has other interests. This is compounded by the fact that Pyrrha doesn’t make her affection obvious until much later. Then once she does, she doesn’t live long after.

That said, I respect “arkos” and its cannon roots. It certainly is a popular pairing, and I’d never disparage that.

Reasons to “Ship” Jaune and Pyrrha (Arkos)

Just like other ships in RWBY, the first volume of the series focuses on how completely incompatible Jaune and Pyrrha really are. Whiterose, and to a lesser extent bumblebee, also suffer from this trope. The first volume wanted to imply how vastly different hunters can be. Showing that off between teams and partnerships really gets the point across.

Jaune is not a good candidate to become a good huntsman. He has a noble ambition, but that’s about it. Like Ruby, he’s awkward beyond belief. He lacks basic combat skills, common sense, and he lied on his school documents. He is constantly bullied for lack of skill in the early parts of the series. Jaune has no right to be a Beacon student in the first place, and he knows it.

Meanwhile, Pyrrha Nikos is an accomplished student. It’s implied that she’s somewhat of a celebrity, but this isn’t touched upon as heavily as it is for other characters. Pyrrha has won tournaments and received a sponsorship. No matter how loosely it’s touched upon, she’s famous, and her face is plastered across cereal boxes.

Weiss Schnee, heiress to the Schnee Dust Company, regards Pyrrha with the utmost respect. Considering how rude Weiss can be in volume 1, this is a mild indication that Pyrrha has dabbled in high society. There is subtext that Weiss and Pyrrha may have even crossed paths. They don’t formally introduce themselves, and Weiss seems particularly friendly with her. Despite Pyrrha’s popularity, Jaune doesn’t even know who Pyrrha is.

In fact, in my re-watching of the series, I realized how much of a jerk Jaune was to Pyrrha even when she tries to introduce herself to him.

He practically pushes her out of his way just so that he can talk to Weiss. It’s obvious that Weiss isn’t interested in him, but he doesn’t seem to realize that.

At first, Jaune and Pyrrha are simply unfit for each other. As a pairing, his sights aren’t even set on Pyrrha as a romantic interest. Instead, he’s much more interested in Weiss. This is what I mean about the pairing being a little messy.

For Pyrrha and Jaune, volume one is nothing more than establishing personal growth for these characters. While Pyrrha holds a romantic fondness for Jaune, he’s too dense to really notice. With his sights firmly planted on Weiss, he doesn’t see the love and affection that Pyrrha wants to offer him.

Pyrrha acts as a supportive partner for Jaune flawlessly. She unlocks his aura, and helps him with his training, teaching him the basic skills he doesn’t have. At first, Jaune fails to return that level of loyalty. Instead he befriends Cardin, and allows himself to be bullied. Even with Pyrrha’s best efforts, Jaune finds himself failing, both as a team leader, and a huntsman-in-training.

The second volume is when Jaune begins to understand the important role he has as a team leader. He starts to emulate Pyrrha’s actions, learning to be humble. He isn’t exactly happy when Pyrrha forces him to study, but he doesn’t argue with her, either. Pyrrha shows growth in her own ways too. Much like Weiss, Pyrrha has learned that small moments of immaturity aren’t a bad thing. Pyrrha joins the food fight between teams RWBY and JNPR. She reads comic books, and enjoys spending time with her teammates.

Jaune still fawns over Weiss, even though she isn’t interested in him.

Pyrrha isn’t obvious about it, but now she shows signs of being jealous. This becomes a major turning point during the school dance. Jaune is so sure that Pyrrha will find a date to the dance that he says he’ll wear a dress if she doesn’t have one. After being rejected by Weiss for the umpteenth time, Jaune attends the dance alone.

When he sees Pyrrha sad and alone, he can’t help but follow her. When he asks where her date is, she tells him that she never had a date to begin with.

Pyrrha explains in detail that her privileged place in society makes it very difficult to connect with others. For the first time, she’s being blunt with Jaune. Upfront and honest about her feelings for him, she lets him know exactly how she feels. She makes it obvious he’s the sort of man she wants in her life.

Needless to say, Jaune goes and puts on a dress. Returning to the dance, he spends the rest of his evening with Pyrrha. This moment is what officially sets their relationship into motion in cannon.

To be honest, we don’t get much else for Jaune and Pyrrha in volume two after this point. Major plot elements and story elements take place for team RWBY, meaning that other teams get sidelined.

It should come as no surprise when I say that the “arkos” pairing is strongest during volume three. Pyrrha shows affection for Jaune openly, and he returns it. She’s much more open about her feelings now, and Jaune reciprocates that. All of this relationship for the past three volumes culminates into a sudden and climatic kiss. Then Pyrrha rushes off to face a battle all on her own, knowing it’ll get her killed.

This is where the “arkos” ship sadly sinks. After her fight, volume three ends. Jaune learns to live without Pyrrha Nikos in his life. While volumes four, five, and six have moments of him recalling his time with Pyrrha, that’s all there can be anymore. During the sixth volume, Jaune comes across a memorial statue of Pyrrha, and finally comes to a catharsis about her death.

So, why should you ship this pairing? It’s quite simple. Jaune grows from a cocky teenage boy into a resolute young man during the first six volumes. Pyrrha was the catalyst for that growth. Pyrrha’s own self-discoveries, while subtle, shouldn’t be understated either. As a fan, it’s interesting to think about how these characters would have grown into adults with full fledged hunting licenses.

While other pairings in the series focus on grandiose character moments and memorable witty dialogue, it’s not the same for Jaune and Pyrrha. For these two, it’s all about the things left unsaid. The simplicity of mundane life that gets taken for granted. It’s profoundly beautiful and tragic. This is perhaps what allows the pairing to live on within the fandom.

Reasons to Sail a Different Ship

There is only one reason, and for now it’s just the way the cannon story played out. Pyrrha’s dead, and Jaune isn’t. Even so, you can still find Pyrrha alive and well in fan fiction. Although those usually takes place before the events of volume three, it’s an alternate universe entirely, or follows a peaceful timeline.

As of right now, Jaune stands in an interesting place within the series. He can have his past love of Pyrrha, and still have another cannon pairing down the line. Even if he does get into a new pairing, that doesn’t change the cannon timeline and the past.

Pyrrha Nikos will always be his first love, and his first real loss. He’s also shown a cannon interest in Weiss in the past. Depending on what later volumes do with Weiss, they may become a cannon pairing down the line. Although, that’s only speculation on my part.

As far as “fannon” is concerned, there are many implied options to choose from. Jaune can easily be shipped with Ruby or Weiss. Cannon gives him just enough moments with both girls both to provide fan fiction fodder. He can also be placed in a bisexual triad relationship with Ren and Nora, which is a common thing to do too.

Jaune plays the role of the underdog in the series. He acts as a vessel for male viewers to latch onto and relate well with. Fan fiction showcases this in spades. Jaune is often put into unnaturally erotic situations that he usually wouldn’t find himself in.

Women who canonically show no interest in him, start to fawn over him in the world of fandom. This makes him a strange outlier among male characters in the series, and his pairings are practically endless when it comes to erotic fantasy.

For Pyrrha, There are also a few implied options. Ruby and Weiss are the stand out choices for monogamous relationships, but the fandom doesn’t stop there. Ruby, Weiss, Ren, and Nora are stand out options for polyamory ships.

In fact, much like Jaune, open relationships tend to run rampant with Pyrrha too. Fans often ship Pyrrha using polyamory with her teammates and trusted friends.

Blake or Yang will occasionally be thrown into Pyrrha’s polyamory blender, making for some of the more interesting pairings within the fandom.

Final Thoughts

The “arkos” pairing is one of the most dynamic pairings in the RWBY series. Jaune and Pyrrha are side characters, particularly during the early volumes. They don’t get a whole lot of screen time compared to team RWBY.

In spite of this, their romantic progression is on display almost all the time. The hints are subtle, most of them are buried deep under subtext, particularly in the first volume.

For me, the ships are less about who they’re paired with, and rather, the dynamic itself. I’d rather read about Pyrrha in small polyamory groups. However, I generally prefer Jaune when he’s steadfast in his monogamy.

I think there’s something to be said for reading Jaune as a bisexual, and seeing him in an open relationship with Ren and Nora. Lastly, I believe shipping all of team JNPR together is just as valid as shipping all of team RWBY together. Perhaps, it’s even more valid simply by the notion that there are no siblings involved (sorry enabler fans).

All in all, like all pairings, there’s no “right” ships to sail. It’s up to you as fan. Getting to decide how best to enjoy these characters, and the ships that come along with them is one of the hallmarks of fandom, and that should never be forgotten.

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…

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