Tag Archives: Ruby Rose

Script RWBY White Trailer Analysis

Hello everyone, it’s Kernook here, and it’s time for my RWBY White Trailer analysis. This is not to be confused with my review of the trailer. That is a separate video.

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Before I begin, I just want to make it clear that this is not the first video production of my analysis series, and there is other content available. There was a lull in making these videos as they take time to make, and I was super slow with them for a larger number of reasons. That being said, the RWBY Red Trailer Analysis and the RWBY Red Trailer Review were completed some time ago, and these two blog posts each come with video content as well.

Kern’s RWBY Red Trailer Analysis

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.

Kern’s RWBY Red Trailer Retrospective

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.

At the time though, admittedly, I was still figuring out my personal style at the time. Due to that, you’ll notice a lack in the quality of those older videos compared to the video that I have for you today.

RWBY White Trailer Retrospective Review

If Ruby’s trailer is all about sentimentality and holding the things you cherish the most close to your heart. Then, the trailer for Weiss is all about the rejection of emotional sentiment. Of leaving behind childish whimsy, and losing one’s own identity in the process.

In any case, after those two posts were complete, I slowly moved onto Weiss Schnee and the RWBY White Trailer Review. From this point on, I’m going to assume you have some insight into the RWBY series, and that you’ve watched at least the first volume.

If you haven’t done that, go watch the series. It is free on the Rooster Teeth website. As always, please support the official release.

You can either read the blog post or watch the video. I hope you enjoy this trailer analysis.

RWBY White Trailer Analysis

The video production of this particular blog post.

Previously, in my RWBY Red Trailer analysis, which can be found on this blog here, I stated that the RWBY series has a lot of themes embedded deeply into the subtext of the narrative. That despite the many flaws within the show, there rests a much deeper and compelling story than you’d find on the surface. Fan theories take on a life of their own, and perspectives on the show are as vast and deep as you can imagine.

Therefore this is only my take on the series. I don’t expect you to agree with everything I say, and I don’t consider my viewpoint to be the end-all, be-all interpretation of the show. This is only how I’ve interpreted the series, so please bear that in mind.

With the mindset that hindsight in the RWBY series really is of utmost importance, let’s go back and study all that the RWBY White Trailer has to offer when it comes to understanding Weiss Schnee. Before we do that, though, we must reflect upon a few lyrics found in the RWBY Red Trailer. It is absolutely paramount to do so, because all of the trailers build upon one-another for the greater narrative.

I’ve stated before that Ruby’s trailer is a simple view of the world. A nutshell, if you will. The lyrics that reference Weiss in the song Red Like Roses state this:

This is the first real interpretation we have of Weiss. Furthermore, this is a very apt description of the RWBY White Trailer and the themes of the RWBY series in regards to Weiss Schnee. Moreover, it allows us a lens upon which to view the RWBY White Trailer. You couldn’t get more obvious about that unless the creators beat you over the head with with the concept using Nora’s hammer, but I digress.

So, here we are then, in the RWBY White Trailer, and one such royal test is playing out in plain view. Weiss is on stage, and she’s about to sing a song, all while facing up against a rather formidable opponent in her memories. Her introductory character song is named “Mirror Mirror” which is more than a little fitting.

In my RWBY White Trailer review, I mentioned the fact that the song almost breaks the fourth wall. That Weiss seems to be speaking to us, the viewers as if we were the mirror in question. When I said this, I was using the lyrics as a basis for this assessment. At the time of this trailer, we have no voice acting. The song composition and battle mechanics were all that we had to go on.

Using the ethos that the trailers help to train the viewer to really enjoy the RWBY series to the fullest, subtext is the foremost tool that a viewer can use to dig into Weiss this early on.

So, let’s dive into the lyrics of Mirror Mirror, and how they apply to the greater narrative properly. The song begins with a soft and gentle melody along with these lyrics.

Mirror, tell me something,
Tell me who’s the loneliest of all?

The question is melancholic and gentle. At first, we can assume from this that Weiss is talking down to her reflection that stands upon the stage, her mirrored image. However, the lyrics then repeat and extrapolate further.

Mirror, tell me something,
Tell me who’s the loneliest of all?
Fear of what’s inside of me;
Tell me can a heart be turned to stone?

By this point, the song has reached a sense of urgency both in musical composition, and lyrical narrative. It is now almost bombastic compared to how the song started. At this point Weiss is reflecting on a battle she once had to face down, likely in recent memory.

It is at this point that we can begin to dig deeper into the content. We can begin to think outside of the box. I’ve always taken this to mean that perhaps Weiss isn’t speaking to her reflection at all, but rather the audience that she sings to. We viewers can be seen as part of that audience she performs for. These questions are abstract, but she’s asking for an answer.

This is a constant theme all through Volume 1 for Weiss Schnee. She is a teenage girl, standing in a place between her dreams and expectations. Aspirations melting under the weight of what she knows to be cold hard reality. The two cannot stand as equals. She often demands answers from others to find out what the truth really is.

A few key examples would be in Volume 1. Firstly, when she asks Professor Port why she shouldn’t be the leader of her team. Secondly, when Weiss and Blake fight in sections of the show such as “The Stray” or the “Black and White” finale in Volume 1. Weiss prefaces all of her moral questions with opinions, but really validation is a secondary goal in most of these cases. She’s looking to find a deeper truth hidden beneath what she finds to be mere conjecture.

Weiss isn’t always successful in her search for answers, but the context here gives us good reason for why she so easily comes to accept both Blake’s existence as a Faunus, and Professor Port’s rebuttal about leadership. People often say that having Weiss so readily accepting Blake at the end of Volume 1 was poorly handled, but as we can see, the subtext was here from the start.

If we look at this song from the viewpoint that Weiss is singing to us directly, and that we are the metaphorical mirror in question, then we are seeing the real person buried deep beneath the Schnee family mask. What we expect of her as a Schnee cannot live up to the reality, because she has no desire to act and think in such a way to begin with.

The next part of the song contains haunting operatic vocals, and while this is wonderful for atmosphere, it adds a context for Weiss as a person. We can see the true struggle that Weiss has within herself. The singing here is as delicate as it is strong. A tone that fights with its own duality. This could be seen as a window into the moral questions that Weiss wants answers for. She’s an inquiring mind, she demands these answers, they’ve just never been given in a way she can truly accept. There has always been something missing for her.

Continuing on, we have even further proof of her unanswered questions. The next set of lyrics give us insight to this, and once again there is an urgency here. The lyrics go like this:

Mirror, mirror, what’s behind you?
Save me from the things I see!
I can keep it from the world,
Why won’t you let me hide from me?

This, once again certainly reflects the struggles Weiss will face in Volume 1 surrounding her teammates, her academics, and her goals as a huntress. Her teammates and Professor Port will challenge her birthright given authority. Blake’s heritage as a Faunus will challenge the conjecture of the victim-hood Weiss carries around like a shield.

She sees the world in a way that terrifies her, it isn’t a safe place. She can’t trust it. She wants to, desperately so, but in these lyrics we see a terrified little girl screaming out at the world. A little girl that likely grew into what she became when Weiss decided to become a huntress. In this way, Weiss and Ruby are very similar.

While Ruby’s lyrics in Red Like Roses seems to compare herself with the world on a surface level, Weiss seems to use the lyrics in “Mirrior Mirrior” to pull that world inward. A reflection of it within herself that she cannot break free of. She is a product of her upbringing and she knows this. With an incredibly high intellect at her disposal, she can see the true nature of her own cruelty. She isn’t blind to it, and she even hates it. To a point, you may even say she hates herself.

However, to get rid of the qualities she dislikes about herself, would put her at risk too. She is more at peace with the things she doesn’t like about herself, than she is with the idea of letting them go.

She asks can a heart to to stone, after all? Can she hide from the darkest parts of herself?

That is the larger question, but for her narrative, the answer is no. She cannot be an unfeeling person, and despite herself, she isn’t a hateful person either.

She isn’t a bigot, even if it would be easier to simply hate Faunus. She distrusts them, but she doesn’t hate them. For her past and her upbringing it would be easier to see herself as superior because she is a Schnee. She knows there is no joy in that for her. There is no solace for a person who cannot find the greater good beyond the darkness of the world.

Weiss knows that, and it scares her.

Finally, we go back to the core question that Weiss has in the next set of lyrics. The selfsame question that began the whole song to begin with. We get one last repeat of the lyrics:

Mirror, mirror, tell me something,
Who’s the loneliest of all?

Weiss can only wonder this, because loneliness itself is a burden that cannot be understated. The trials and tribulations of Remnant are not things that characters should face alone. Be it the Faunus plight, grief, homelessness, the Grimm themselves, or so many other factors, it really doesn’t matter. Those struggles are not solitary fights, and in solitude they tend to end badly.

Even in the real world, the mindset Weiss keeps before the events of Volume 1 is impossible to uphold. You cannot discover yourself as a person without discovering the ideologies that best suit your personal ethos. To expect someone to forge their own path alone, with very little help at all, forges an echo chamber of negative thoughts. This cultivates dangerous biases that have to way to be challenged.

Weiss is isolated due to the way she sees the world, and those circumstances are not simple or easy to navigate. Doing so alone, as she feel she has, only complicates the issue. Letting go of her stringent upbringing and narrow views would bring Weiss validation, and a sense of belonging.

We know this to be true, and see the reality of this come to fruition in her later volumes and character songs. However, for now that fruition has yet to happen, and the song ends on these final lyrics:

I‘m the loneliest of all.

This is a statement, not a question, not this time. This means that she is telling us what she knows to be fact. She is lonely, she doesn’t like the person she is becoming. She doesn’t want to be this way, and if there were a way to change herself, she would. This is evidenced by all of her key character progression in Volume 1.

These are hard won battles for Weiss, no different than her hard won battle with the knight that leaves a scar on her face. It never comes easily for her. She had to relinquish blood, sweat, and tears to reach that victory, and in volume 1, she will go through that turmoil again.

In order to shape herself into a better person once more, she has to. That is the path Weiss really wants to take. In the depth of these questions, she knows continuing on as she is won’t make her happy.

We have one final clue to all of this insight, and it is found within the quote at the beginning of the trailer. It says this:

It is here that we find that direct line of sorrowful ideology. Weiss stands her ground in every emotional and physical fight she gets into during volume 1, but here we see how she really feels. In this quote, we see that she never thought Blake’s ideologies regarding Faunus to be something pointless. She never really though Ruby to be a lesser person. Instead, it comes down to one simple concept.

To Weiss those fights are worth having. Anything that matters at all, is a thing that matters enough to fight for, and to fight hard enough to win. This is why she continues pressing Blake about Faunus. To Weiss, fighting the matter out helps her to understand. That she eventually stands down in these arguments proves that she begins to understand the heart and soul beneath the battles.

To both Ruby’s leadership and Blake’s heritage, Weiss accepts these outcomes because they fought so hard for it. That they too, sought validation they way she does. That they too, while emotionally wounded, needed someone to listen.

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Weiss chose to listen, and in turn she finds a place to belong.

She finds her implied commonalities, because her teammates are not so different from herself. In the early volumes of the RWBY series, it all really comes down to the heart of the matter. For Weiss her strongest content and progression really comes down to teammates most of all. When it comes to fighting for ideologies in Volume 1, they are her strongest allies and adversaries. In later volumes, Yang plays a much larger role her progression particularly in volumes 2 and 3, when Weiss begins to act more carefree, and starts to take every day as it comes, an ideology that Yang seems to teach her. All of this is buried within everything the RWBY White Trailer has to offer.

This is why I say that Weiss’s choice at the end of Volume 1 didn’t come out of left field. It wasn’t abrupt. It wasn’t mishandled. It had no need to be extrapolated upon, because it was all here from the start. The subtext speaks loudly, nothing has gone to waste when it comes to outlining Weiss and her future among her team.

At the end of her trailer, she sees a glimpse of her mirrored image, and what she is capable of. For us, the image is blurry, but Weiss probably sees it clearly. She will ask the world her questions, she will demand answers. She will forge a new path because of them, that isn’t a spoiler, that’s simply her determination as a person at play.

It isn’t that Weiss wants the answers to her questions to be satisfying, it’s that she wants to know the truth. She can handle the truth, if it’s honest. We see this in all of the volumes. This is a character trait that never leaves Weiss, not even as late as Volume 8. Once she knows enough to get by, she leaves the inconsequential details by the wayside.

In volume 1, this culminates in her two largest arguments. Blake is no longer in the White Fang, and does not support their violence. Ruby is doing her best as a leader. Those facts are the ones that matter. When Weiss states that she doesn’t care to get into the finer details, that is honesty too. In truth, she doesn’t need to know them right then and there.

The fight was worth having, the insight she gained was enough.

Weiss is many unflattering things in Volume 1, but she is also honest. Even if it is sometimes to the point of cruelty. That she expects this same sort of honesty offered in return is something I will dive into when I dig into the meat of Volumes properly.

For now, this is where I leave the trailer. There is more to speak upon regarding Weiss. Her contradictions and flaws linger deep in the subtext, but I need to dive deep into the volumes to explain that, and those are other videos. In my next analysis, I’ll be covering Blake’s trailer analysis, so I hope to 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. I’ll see you next time.

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Character Spotlight: Taiyang Xiao Long

Hey everyone, it’s Kernook here, back with another character spotlight. Today I’ll be talking about Taiyang Xiao Long. This analysis content was voted on by our small Patreon community.

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For the first two volumes Taiyang Xiao Long is a non-character. We don’t know anything about the man. Then volume three hits and we get our first glimpse of him through Ruby’s monologue. This monologue is as deprecating as it is full of love. Ruby stands over her mother’s grave, Taiyang has wandered off someplace. Ruby mentions Yang has learned a lot of her combat style from their father, and finally he returns. We get a glimpse of him in the distance.

This is the first and last time that Taiyang will be referenced heavily as a man that is both deeply loving and terribly flawed to the point of no return. The next time we see him, he will display these traits, and you’ll either have to take him or leave him.

Honestly, I’ve always been rather conflicted in my views of Taiyang. The series paints him in a very distinct, often unflattering view. Honestly, it’s all very intentional when taken into view with the wider contexts of the show. To be honest though, I find it difficult not to take a separate set of issues with him as a character. My personal problems with him aren’t the ones that the series likes to wag a finger at.

The man has problems that aren’t addressed, but damn-well should be. This isn’t bad writing, the characters pointedly ignore or avoid his failings, and this leads to even larger problems.

Frankly, his bad habits have passed onto his daughters. To get into why, we need to look at what Taiyang is to Yang and Ruby. Namely he’s their father. He’s not a huntsman in their eyes, he’s just their dad.

We can see that’s how he wants to be viewed, and really, that’s all he’s got going for him these days. He may be a teacher at Signal, but we never see him teach or even mention his own abilities as an instructor.

The RWBY series has a very odd way of dealing with parents and parenting styles. This holds doubly true for the wider ethos of the hunting profession. Among parents and parental figures who take up the trade themselves, it can be a mixed bag. There is no stranger character as a huntsman than Taiyang Xiao Long himself. He is an enigma at best, a contradiction to everything a huntsman is at worst.

When it comes to the themes showcased within the wider narrative, Taiyang is the one of the most inconsistent characters when it comes to word and deed. Honestly that’s a very hard thing to do considering that he’s also internally consistent as a character.

Yeah, you read that correctly…

It isn’t that he’s a poorly written character, but rather that he’s just a guy that’s a hypocrite. He isn’t cut out to be a father and he knows it. I’m hesitant to call him a bad father, because I do think he does try to be a good one. However, I do think he has a toxic parenting style that lends itself to doing more harm than good, more often than not.

The key takeaway is that he knows he’s failed he daughters, you can see it in the way he acts. So, who is Taiyang Xiao Long, really? What do we know indisputably?

We know he’s the father of both Yang Xiao Long and Ruby Rose. We also know he’s a teammate (or perhaps more aptly put former teammate of the now defunct team STRQ). We know he has a somewhat messy relationship past, and we know that he allows his daughters to find trouble more often than not. That’s about it with this guy, right?

Or is it?

I say it isn’t… I know it isn’t… and I can prove it.

Fandom Perspective

Generally there’s a few ways to look at Taiyang, and it largely depends on how you see him as a character. I’ve said this before in my blog post about how I handle RWBY analysis content, which can be found here, but to paraphrase, many things impact the way we view something within a given show. RWBY as a series is no different.

Before I begin, do keep in mind that Taiyang can be viewed differently based on your own personal moral values, and what you personally deem important. You may see Taiyang in a different light than I do, and that’s perfectly okay.

Due to this detail, in fandom some depictions of Taiyang are much more flattering than others.

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Some people think he’s entirely useless both as a man and a father. Others believe he’s done the best with what he’s been given, and they feel bad for him. Another demographic tends to blame the writing in RWBY for his lack of strong and positive paternal role. No matter how you view him though, there’s no question Taiyang is a troubled man, just like Qrow.

He’s just harder to point the finger at, because generally Taiyang can be pretty likable when compared to other fathers in the show. Then again, there’s not a lot of strong competition in the fatherly line-up. Jacques is an unquestionable asshole any way you slice it, and Ghira is hit-and-miss depending on what angle you’re using to analyze him.

However, given the way Yang and Ruby were put into danger as children and that none of their key memories seem to include him, the harsher views placed upon Taiyang might not be a completely unfair assessment.

More importantly though, unlike other characters, we can’t look at the world through Taiyang’s lens. The guy doesn’t have one, or rather what he does have just isn’t logical or even realistic. He’s a man trapped in his own bubble, and that’s probably why Ruby and Yang act the way they do in the early parts of the show.

Don’t believe me?

Well, we just don’t see him interacting with a world outside of his home. Where other characters can display a core ethos regarding the world around them, Taiyang can’t do that. He’s stuck at home, and the scenes in which he is talking with others have an uncomfortable feel to them. To be honest, it just shows just how out of touch he is with characters and the world in which he lives. In the context of the wider series, he’s a nonsensical hermit at best..

Sadly, that nonsense becomes his ethos.

This is the scene that truly showcases how much of a hypercritical jerk Taiyang really is capable of turning into. When it least suits the situation, he acts out of turn. Yang and Taiyang end up having a petty fight similar to what we see back in volume 1 content. If you watch this scene and it feels like the same sort of bickering you’d hear from Yang and Ruby in volume 1, it should… that’s exactly the sort of stupidity it really is.

Within the scene, Bartholomew Oobleck and Peter Port are visiting him. They’re laughing it up, having a good time, and then Yang comes down the stairs. They talk about the Branwen twins in a less than favorable light, but up until that point Taiyang was acting up just as much as the other two… then the scene takes a sharp turn.

Word for word, Oobleck says this: “The Branwen twins have always been interesting to say the least.”

Then Professor Peter Port says this: “That sure didn’t seem to stop young Tai.”

From there Taiyang scolds them for saying that in front of his daughter. Peter rebuttals by saying that if Yang can fight monsters and train to be a huntress, she can handle the conversation going on around her. The truth is she can. She was handling the conversation just fine. I wouldn’t take an issue with Taiyang scolding them, but then Taiyang’s next comments are so damn insensitive and flat out idiotic that I wondered if volume 1 Weiss just manifested into his body out of the ass end of nowhere.

Read these lines and you’ll see what I mean.

Word for word, Taiyang say this: “Adult or not, you’ve still got a long way to go before you’re ready for the real world.”

That’s what Taiyang says when Yang says that she can be directly spoken to, like… funny that, an adult. Yang is university age, she’s not a child. She’s lost an arm to combat, and nearly lost her life once before that. If Raven hadn’t saved her in Volume 2, Yang would be dead. She’s lost friends, she’s seen hell at this point, and Ruby has gone off with the surviving members of JNPR.

Yet, Taiyang thinks that Yang is unready to live in the real world? The real world cut off her arm. The real world and the ramifications of being a huntress has been in front of her, and it has been for her entire life. Qrow’s drinking, her mother leaving her, Summer Rose is no longer with them, and Yang has faced near death experiences left and right since childhood.

Let’s be honest here guys, if she’s not ready for the harsh lessons of the real world by the time she goes off to Beacon Academy, what were the last seventeen years of her life really for? Moreover, why let a child go to Beacon Academy to face those dangers if she’s not ready for the adult realities that will inevitably bring?

Yang rightfully calls him out saying this: “Oh my god, does every father figure have the same three condescending phrases?”

Then Taiyang makes a jackass of himself: “Yeah, but we only use them when we mean it! If you honestly think that you’re ready to go out there on your own… Ha, well I guess you lost some brain cells along with that arm.”

Seriously, if that doesn’t feel like the early insult laden fights from the first volume, I don’t know what else would. Let’s be honest, that’s not only the wrong reaction to have, it’s a childish one for an adult man. His words and actions are so far from “okay” that everyone else in the room is taken aback by that statement.

Now to be fair to him, Yang eventually laughs it off. Still the fact she even has to laugh it off after the look she gives him prior, it really speaks volumes. That was a bridge too far for Taiyang, and it’s not okay. You don’t talk to your kid like that, not when she’s suffering from PTSD.

The hypocrisy is so prominent here, it’s a little disgusting. Peter can’t make a small joke at Tai’s expense, but Taiyang can say something like that to his own kid?

Sorry, no… hard no from me… no dice on that one… let’s just assume Peter crossed a line for Taiyang emotionally for a second. Even if so, you just don’t take that out on your kid. That’s vitriolic at best, and it is just a little emotionally abusive to say that to someone who just lost an arm in a fight for her life and the lives of her friends.

All of the above illiterates one thing. Taiyang never learned how to grow up. When characters like Sun, Ren and Jaune can act more like grown men than the actual father in the series, you need to take a few steps back and understand that this is all very intentional.

Taiyang is a troubled soul, he’s lost a great deal, and unlike Jaune Arc’s loss of Pyrrha Nikos, Taiyang’s loss of Summer Rose didn’t forge him into a better man than he was….

It downright crippled him.

Again though, I’m not saying Taiyang is an inherently bad man. Far from it. He’s not awful, he’s just not aware of himself or the wider world. He’s out of touch with what it means to be a family man, a father, and a person respectful of his own daughter’s limitations. He doesn’t know how to be more than he is… a man that has anger management issues much like his daughter, and a man that doesn’t learn from his mistakes… unlike Yang and Ruby who continue to learn from their own.

This is also what I mean by Yang and Ruby also keep and showcase his failings. Where he hasn’t grown from his troubles and tribulations, they obviously do. In Volume 4, Yang’s come a long way from the Yellow Trailer version of herself that grabbed Junior’s crotch. She’s mellowing by the day at this point, due in large part to her teammates. Ruby’s not the sort of person that babbles inconsistent nonsense so much anymore, like she did when facing Weiss down in Volume 1.

This scene when viewed in the context of the wider show just proves his lack of responsibility, and the responsibility he hypocritically expects from his children. Particularly, since if he actually feels that Yang is still a child, he never should have allowed Yang to wander to a bandit camp on another continent all by herself. If he doesn’t actually feel that way, why say something not only entirely insensitive, but also factually untrue?

Based on the events of the series as they’ve been portrayed by everyone, including himself, the hypocrisy here shows in spades.

This is where we get into the core problem of Taiyang Xiao Long. He’s a loving father who just doesn’t know how to be a parent. Unlike the Schnee family patriarch, Jacques could have likely been a wonderful father if he just gave a rat’s ass to be one. Taiyang never really grew up and simply can’t be a wonderful father, because at the end of the day, he’s still immature himself.

That is the core takeaway of this man. Taiyang doesn’t know how to be a father, and he never really learned at all. He ended up muddling his way through life without important lessons being learned the first time… which is why so many mistakes repeat over and over for his daughters.

Taiyang Xiao Long and Questionable Parenting

While even troubled characters such as Qrow and Raven seem to keep tabs on Yang and Ruby, Taiyang simply doesn’t. At the very end of the fourth volume, he sends Yang on her way to go meet with her bandit of a mother, Raven. That is a questionable detail, given just how dangerous the world of Remnant truly is. While Qrow at least follows Ruby’s rebuilt team, Taiyang stays behind… and this is a large theme with Taiyang in general… emotionally, he’s never really there when he’s needed.

Raven at least saves Yang during the train incident in volume 2, and she doesn’t flat out lie to Yang or skirt the details in any scene with her daughter. She is always honest with Yang, though she is also sometimes cruel about that honesty. Meanwhile, Taiyang can be cruel as shown by the scene above, but his dishonesty puts Yang and Ruby in danger as small children. Lies of omission are dangerous ones in the RWBY series, and they always end with something bad happening.

Refusing to talk about Raven until he absolutely must is a key problem for Taiyang.

The central flashback scene in which Yang describes the danger, it’s Qrow that shows up to save them in the flashback. She was able to sneak out with Ruby after Taiyang left the house. She says Ruby was a toddler at the time. Qrow saved the day, thankfully, or else they’d both be dead. This sort of inaction from Taiyang continues even when Taiyang becomes a fully realized character in the show.

Taiyang doesn’t leave with Yang at the end of volume 4. In volume 8, Taiyang just stands there and looks at the television screen when it cuts off, standing there and hoping Ruby comes back online. Frankly, the series makes one firm and clear depiction of Taiyang throughout the series.

Taiyang is not an active father, he’s largely inactive until he’s forced to act at all. Raven is absentee physically, but it’s Taiyang who is absentee emotionally. He may have put a roof over their heads, but he didn’t raise his daughters…

Let me be clear: he tried to, perhaps, the glimpses are there. Yet, to be honest, his failings are also clear in the lack of regard characters keep for him in general.

Yang can blow up bars in her character trailer, Ruby can pick a fight with thugs in the first episode of volume 1, but Taiyang is nowhere to be found in those incidents. His daughters can pointedly find trouble and danger as little girls, but all we know from Taiyang is that he wouldn’t tell Yang anything about her past.

He won’t talk about Raven until volume 4, when he has no other choice. Truth be told, it’s not the conversation Yang really needs to hear. Even that falls onto Raven’s shoulders. Taiyang isn’t the one to impart crucial details about the dangers of working with Ozpin.

I *would* call it bad writing, if we didn’t have such a clear and pointed view of the other family figures being referenced in the early volumes. Ruby discusses how Qrow trained her. Yang makes mention that Summer Rose was a lot like a “Super Mom”, but where’s Taiyang in those references? While Raven and Qrow both get rescue moments to save Yang, and Summer Rose is praised for being an influential figure, Taiyang doesn’t get anything like that.

He has no clear and pointed memorable mention of which to speak of. He has no moment to really stand out as a good father to them. By the time we get one, it’s already clouded over by the way he hasn’t been mentioned, and the ass he makes of himself.

Meanwhile, a drunk Uncle Qrow is regarded in a better light than their own father. While smashing up the campus with Winter Schnee, Ruby cheers for his actions. We really do need to question why… and that’s not to say Qrow doesn’t get a wake-up call as Ruby grows up. He gets a hard one by Ruby Rose standards in volume 6, but Taiyang never faces any repercussions like that.

Like Qrow, he really should have gotten the firm wake-up call, but for him it never comes. I really cannot let Taiyang slide on that one point.

The continued danger his daughters face, aren’t things he has any firm or direct dealings with. The times he has the opportunity, he fails to live up to it. Even just seeing him make a mad dash for the door in volume 8 before the screen cuts off would have been better than the way he just sits there. At this point he continues to prove he’s entirely useless to anything and everything.

The Belladonna parents get their moment to redeem themselves along with the Faunus of Menagerie. We get mentions of Glynda Goodwitch putting the city back together. From Taiyang, we have nothing of value to the greater society or to his own family. He’s no help to Vale, and he’s no help to his children. He’s not even any help to the family dog.

As a father who already lost people he loves, he now risks once again to lose the family he cares about. This time, his own flesh and blood, his daughters. Once again, he doesn’t do anything. With all of this being said, the series gives us a very clear cut view of Taiyang.

He’s no true huntsman, and deep down, he’s not the father he wishes he could have been. All that’s left is a lonely man, in a lonely, empty house…

He doesn’t have anything to show for all of his efforts, and we have to wonder how hard he really tried in the first place. How you choose to see those efforts are in your hands, and the series intends it that way.

As for me, I find it hard to have any real empathy for Taiyang. I do think he tries his best, but even Qrow stands as a stronger paternal influence to these girls, and that holds true from the very start of volume 1.

Taiyang has been absentee in a way worse than Raven could ever be in my eyes. He’s basically the male version of Willow Schnee, but without any outside oppressor, only himself to blame. He has no gumption to even attempt to do anything when faced with the difficult realities in front of him…

I’m not saying Willow is much better, but at least she knows well enough to know where Weiss really belongs. It’s not in that damned mansion, and Willow knows it. While Taiyang clings so hard he risks to lose everything, Willow knows when to let go.

Taiyang’s daughters habitually wander off, early and often. They get into danger, also early and often. Much like Ozpin allows trouble to take place within the school, Taiyang allows it to happen within the home. Otherwise it wouldn’t keep happening every time his back is turned or his daughters win the argument.

I think that alone says a lot about Taiyang.

When the other absentee parents, either emotionally or physically get a moment of redemption, he doesn’t. Qrow learns to follow Ruby’s lead. Willow learns how to make amends. The Belladonna’s are said to be reforming the White Fang. Raven learns to put faith in her daughter, because Yang is stronger emotionally than Raven will ever be.

What does Taiyang get?

Nothing… he gets nothing except for his own solitude. A man sitting in a dark room, all by himself, with his head in his hands… little more than a showcase of his failings.

Time will tell if Taiyang will ever get a redemption arc as a father, but for now, he’s pretty bottom of the barrel as far as RWBY parents are concerned. It seems to me, that’s exactly how the series wants it.

In my opinion, Taiyang is the foil to Willow. Both of them are emotionally absent to their children. One has lost herself due to an oppressor that terrorized her home, while the other is oppressed due to the failings and misgivings he simply couldn’t find the courage to correct.

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

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RWBY White Trailer Retrospective Review

Kern’s Note: Sorry that this thing was so late in coming out. We were having a few difficulties and had a lot of things to do in order to fix the issues. Now that it is here we are super proud of it. Audio issues were sorted out too, so that makes it even more awesome!


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The Retrospective Review

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

Last week I kicked off my retrospective series with the RWBY Red Trailer. For a brief recap, I mentioned that the four character trailers that kicked off the series had three goals in mind. They were as follows:

  • To introduce the main four girls.
  • To teach the viewer how to enjoy the combat in the series.
  • And to give viewers a taste of the world through the eyes of these characters.

When the RWBY Red Trailer first released, I wasn’t exactly a huge fan of what I saw.

As I said last time, hindsight for the series is 20/20. Retrospection matters. My love of the RWBY series didn’t come until I saw the release of the RWBY White Trailer and the introduction of Weiss Schnee.

If Ruby’s trailer is all about sentimentality and holding the things you cherish the most close to your heart. Then, the trailer for Weiss is all about the rejection of emotional sentiment. Of leaving behind childish whimsy, and losing one’s own identity in the process.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look. The trailer opens slowly, a quote flashes across the screen. This quote reads like this:

Then a spotlight shows overhead, the garbled mutterings of an announcer calls her name. The audience cheers as a white haired woman takes the stage. Her face is elegant, but there’s a slender scar blemishing her skin over one eye.

She’s dressed in white, with a splash of red, and a hint of black. Her expression stays serious in front of the crowd. The soft fluttering of of a piano begins to play as the crowd cheers.

By this point in the trailer, less than 30 seconds into it, I had already found myself captivated by Weiss Schnee as a character. Where the RWBY Red Trailer failed to instantly grab my attention, the RWBY White Trailer had captured me from the very beginning.

Weiss looks out to the crowd, takes a breath and closes her eyes. Then the song begins in earnest. Unlike Ruby’s song that was merely playing as a music backdrop and only had a few lyrics, this time Weiss is performing her personal story for the world to see.

Her song, known as “Mirror Mirror” is a testament that Jeff Williams and Casey Lee Williams really know how to make a soundtrack shine.

This song is probably one of the saddest in the original soundtrack for the first RWBY Volume. As the song plays, Weiss is shown to be singing it, although, her actual voice actress didn’t do the vocals. The woman singing is Casey Lee Williams.

This trailer turns into a flashback as Weiss continues to sing, her eyes still closed. The camera pans lower and the stage fades to black. A reflection of Weiss glows from the dark abyss as she stands atop it, a perfect reflection.

If you haven’t noticed by now, this is a far deeper, far more introspective sort of trailer on it’s face. This make sense. Weiss is the most reserved of the main four girls. She’s cold, almost needlessly cruel in the first volume of the series. However, that’s well and truly a facade at best.

Without this trailer for character context, which I will get to in a moment, Weiss would be little more than a complete and total ass during Volume 1. Episodes like “The Stray” and notably the episode “Black and White” which is the Volume 1 finale, rely on this trailer. It explains everything about Weiss and her eventual blind acceptance of Blake.

The reason is because Weiss isn’t actually an ass, and she’s doesn’t really carry the hyperbolic thoughts and feelings that she’s expected to have. She spouts them, but they’re not real. This trailer is a looking glass into all of it, literally. It gives us all of her key struggles, and allows us to see this girl behind the Schnee family mask.

Anyway, at this point her eyes are closed. It is now implied that anything beyond this point is a flashback of a memory. When her eyes open, kneeling in front of her is a gigantic armored knight. It bows to her in reverence, as if she were its queen.

Then, it stands to its full height, grasping its sword as the tempo of the music changes.

No longer just a soft piano melody with gentle singing, string instruments and percussion are added into the mix. The soft classical music begins taking on new urgency as Weiss faces down her opponent. Swords clash as Weiss faces down this armored giant, deftly avoiding his blade.

Her combat is almost like a dancer’s grace as she continues flitting around the arena floor like a ballerina. She uses her sword with frontal swings and forward jabs just like a fencer. Weiss relies on a complicated mix of pure skill, dust, and her semblance to gain the upper hand.

As I said before, the trailers build upon each other. In Ruby’s trailer, combat was the thing breaking the fourth wall.

For Weiss it’s the lyrics of her song, breaking the forth wall instead. This is her personal story. She’s telling us who she really is as a person, and she’s not going to wait for us to figure it out.

Just like how she treats Ruby in Volume 1, she’s not going to dumb herself down for our sake. The lyrics are poetic and layered in symbolism. I will speak about that in the analysis of this trailer, which is a separate post. For now let’s just focus on the poetic storytelling at play.

Viewers need to stand on Weiss’s level emotionally, and understand what she’s telling us. We viewers, are the mirror she’s talking to. It’s not just that she’s talking to herself. She wants to be heard, she has asked us if we can hear her in the song directly. She’s asked us if she needs us, because we are that mirror.

She’s not sure if her own merits are good enough. She wants to be taken seriously. She feels that she isn’t. That she is somehow inferior.

Now, this is exactly what Ruby’s trailer referenced in regards to the color “white”.

While those lyrics were a factual assessment, Weiss attempts to explain those facts in poetic and lyrical way, using ambiguity.

Ruby’s trailer is self-assured and confidant. She knows she wants to be a huntress, and she’s ready to show off what she can accomplish.

Weiss is far less sure of herself. She wants the validation of others, but she’s afraid to ask for it. So, she’s asking us, the proverbial mirror.

Her faster and far more ruthless combat is an undertone to this as well. While Ruby shows us a fight that’s fun, Weiss shows us one that’s necessity. Weiss needs to fight this battle. It isn’t a choice. It’s an obligation, like so many other things in her life.

Unfortunately for Weiss, she’s still just a teenager trying to pretend she’s an adult. The adult world of Remnant will bring her down a few pegs, and so does the knight she’s fighting. She cannot stand on the world’s stage alone and hope to succeed that way. She needs others, she needs a place to belong.

In spite of her skill, this isn’t enough to stop the knight from countering every attack she lands on him. Finally he swats her aside like a paper doll.

She lands on the ground looking disheartened, defeated and bleeding…

Then the scene faces to black and Weiss is on stage again. Slowly she opens her eyes. Haunting operatic vocals fill the air as the moon overhead appears from behind dark clouds.

Weiss is still young, and just like Ruby, she’s a dreamer of bigger and better things. It’s just that those dreams don’t align with the world as she currently understands it. Her memories and expectations hold her down.

She’s asking us, the viewers, if she can really stand a chance to reach for her dreams. If she’s even worthy of those dreams at all.

Her eyes close again, and her memory continues. The flashback of how she got the scar in the first place is fresh in her mind.

The knight is still ready for more, and Weiss lifts herself up from the ground. There’s blood on her face, and determination in her eyes. Weiss won’t let herself be put down from a little thing like a head injury.

Instead she prepares herself for another clashing of blades. She’s smarter this time, going on the defensive and waiting for the right moment to take him down.

The song changes tempo again. This time, it’s not haunting, it’s empowering. She prepares her weapon, adjusting her stance, and strikes. A flurry of dust shimmers with every attack. A wave of ice spiking up from the ground as she returns the armored knight’s attack tenfold, effectively disarming him.

Then it’s time for her final attack. She readies her glyphs and the dust inside her sword. Trapping the the knight, she sends herself flying into the air, slicing a pinpoint attack into the knight. This turns him into a powder-like snow.

Sparkles of this now defeated knight fall onto the stage as she finishes her song. The blood on her face fades away. She opens her eyes and looks around as if trying to remember where she is. The crowd cheers for her.

When you saw this trailer for the first time, you probably cheered a little too, even if it was just to yourself quietly. I know that I did.

That’s because in the context of the series, Weiss is person worth cheering for. She’s worth her dreams and her ambitions. She wants to hear that cheering, she wants us, the mirror to tell her that she’s worth it. That’s what makes her so relatable even as early as the trailer itself.

Everyone wants to be told they’re worth something. That they’ve done a good job. Everyone wants just that one moment of satisfaction. That one thing that nobody can take away from them, because they earned that success themselves. That they are worthy of standing upon the worlds stage, accepted based on their own achievements.

In that way, Weiss resonates with that small part of humanity. We are the mirror she’s talking to, and we give her just that tiniest glimmer of hope.

Weiss looks out toward the audience and she offers her final bow. Her reflection is still there, a perfect mirror image upon the floor. Only she can see it truly clearly. The curtains close, and the trailer ends.

It’s as if through the eyes of the viewer, she’s finally seeing her true self. The person she really wants to be. The person she can become.

The RWBY White Trailer is a showcase of characterization at its finest. A lot of fans claim that Weiss is one of the most interesting characters in the series, at least, on her own merits. I wholeheartedly agree.

In this trailer we’re given far more depth to her character than we ever saw in the RWBY Red Trailer. This trailer built upon everything we were told previously, and extrapolated upon them.

The thing is, Ruby’s trailer focuses more on factual information. For Weiss, her trailer is almost entirely emotional. The fight was in her point of view, and the song lyrics reflect that as well.

The song stands in a league of it’s own, the animation is absolutely fitting, and the fight is captivating from start to finish.

All in all, this trailer is my absolute favorite one in the early volumes. I love this thing.

However objectively, I wouldn’t actually say it’s the best trailer we received. No, in my opinion, that credit goes to the RWBY Black Trailer, featuring Blake Belladonna. It is the textbook definition of what a trailer should be. Join me next time as I cover Blake’s trailer. You don’t want to miss it.

Also be sure to check out some related content, in case you missed it before. Don’t forget to check out the page “All Things RWBY” to see all of our related RWBY fandom content.

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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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 read this post. 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

 Do you want more content until then? Well, Kreshenne and I have a Twitch account. We stream games every Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. 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 has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you next time.

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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.

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You can help support us through PayPal or Patreon.

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.

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

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.”

Then 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.

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Final Thoughts

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.

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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 see you next time.

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Thoughts About RWBY Volume 8

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.

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.

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.

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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. I’ll see you next time.

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