Tag Archives: Weiss Schnee

RWBY Ice Queendom Episode 1 Review

Hey everyone, it’s Kernook here, finally ready to begin reviewing the RWBY Ice Queendom series properly. In all honesty, it was off to a shaky start when the first three episodes released as promotional hype.

You can read all about my RWBY Ice Queendom first impressions here. That’s just a broad look at the first three episodes, mind you. For now let’s dive into the actual and proper review, shall we?

To begin, I want to say that the first episode is as rushed as it could possibly be. I don’t think anyone should go into this anime as their first experience with RWBY. It isn’t exactly what I would call a strong start for those unfamiliar with the main series.

You see, we knew going into Ice Queendom that the first two episodes would rehash a lot of plot elements from Volume 1. My god, did it ever do that… but I’m going to be honest here. It is super fast, and it’s not for a non-fan to try to absorb.

No newbie can hope to truly understand the depth of what is actually going on without having seen Volume 1 of the original show first… so if you’re going to watch Ice Queendom, awesome!

Just… uh… watch Volume 1 first too, okay? I promise if you did feel a little lost, don’t be too concerned… even I felt a little lost, but we could have a diamond in the rough here, so let’s not be too hasty.

That said, we did get some pretty stellar moments, and we got some clunky ones. Spoilers ahead, be warned

If they were going to re-hash volume one, they should have done it from scratch. Enough is changed in this iteration to argue a complete and total overhaul. Here’s the thing, the first volume of RWBY is only two hours long. That means they could have rehashed all of what they needed to do in six episodes (no I’m not joking). They should have done that.

Take for example the Weiss battle from the RWBY White Trailer and compare that fight to this one. The battle is cleaner in Ice Queendom for sure, but it lacks some of the emotional character development we get from the Weiss Trailer and her introduction song. Also, the battle feels just a little rushed and choppy. Thanks to the break-away scenes with Blake and Adam running around doing a separate fight entirely, the combat feels very segmented.

Winter’s inclusion so early in Ice Queendom is a welcome addition, but it is just a little jarring without context… Winter wasn’t in the RWBY White Trailer and didn’t make an appearance until a later volume. The same is true for all the Schnee family.

It is very nice that some of these plot points were touched on in the first episode, but why not slow down and really contextualize it? I don’t understand the need to rush, and that is a bit annoying.

I do like this fight, though, and I think Studio Shaft had the best of intentions. It was merely that those intentions fell a little flat. The same is effectively true for a great deal of the first episode during the re-hash scenes. They’re a bit cobbled together, demanding you have some concept of the show to start with, and not particularly caring to slow down if you don’t.

That said, there is a highlight moment every now and then when Ice Queendom extrapolates where the original RWBY series never does. For example, at least Taiyang isn’t strangely absentee this time around, which is something I’ve brought up in my character analysis of him. His lack of development in the original series really paints him in a really bad light.

It’s nice to see him as the father we knew he could be, and not the complete jerk-ass father that the original series implies him to be. Again, super nice gem here. Whoever had the mind to add this in and push it through should get a standing ovation.

Taiyang’s scenes with Yang, and later Ozpin, really help to flesh out what Volume 1 failed to really cover earnestly.

However, a few good narrative calls doesn’t help the show when the rest of it can be somewhat crammed together at such a break-neck pace. There’s little room to breathe.

This may sound harsh, but I’m not trying to rip on the show here.

I’m just pointing out that there are some really good choices when the creators choose to take the time to flesh things out. When they do, it’s amazing. When they choose not to take that time, it’s obvious. In some ways that’s very annoying to me as a fan.

Ice Queendom is “canon adjacent” or so they call it. That means some canon remains the same, and some become different… when you do this, you need to be clear about what changes and how it changes.

You can’t be vague about this. Many of us aren’t coming into the series with fresh eyes. We’re coming in as fans from the original show. We have preconceived notions and biases that needed to be challenged under these new ideologies.

In any case when the fights are this clean, they’re pretty good. If you just want action with no combat choreography or subtext, this will do you just fine. It feels fun and it’s entertaining, that’s for sure.

Once again though, welcome to my biases at play here. I’m a huge fan of the original show, there is a lot to live up to here in terms of combat. This show has big shoes to fill and I’m not entirely sure that it could have hoped to live up to the original fight scenes.

If you want actual choreography that sticks with you and hits home, this just won’t hold a candle to a lot of the battles in Volume 1. Sorry, but for me it holds true. If you don’t mind losing some of the charm of choreography and just want a good brawl, this will do just fine as it is though… it’s serviceable.

In losing some of the charm in the fights, we do lose a little something in the characters too. That is the main issue here.

All of the characters feel watered down and distilled in ways that just pull me out of the experience. Yang especially feels so watered down I don’t even recognize her as Yang anymore. We just don’t have the time with her to really get a sense of who she is, what she wants, or how she feels as an aspiring huntress.

There is no combat at the bar scene to really amp up her temperament, or showcase some of her poor decision making. To highlight my point look at these two comparison photos.

Let’s be real honest here guys, which one best represents the Yang that’s adventuresome, ready to throw down in a fight? Yang is a complicated, deep character. She spends all of volume one trying to get Ruby to go out and make friends, find her own way, get on her own team, and become a huntress. That’s not the Yang I see portrayed in Ice Queendom even slightly… she doesn’t get enough screen time to get that portrayal.

Now, that’s not to say I expect Yang to be the same… or any character for that matter. At this point in time, I just don’t know who she even is as a character. I’m a huge RWBY fan. I should have a very firm idea of who Yang is, but she’s not really anything at the moment.

I want to know who these girls are in this iteration of the show, and the show itself doesn’t seem to want us to know.

It’s like that with all of the characters to one degree or another, even Weiss… considering Weiss is supposed to be the focal point, that’s a problem here. I’m only using Yang as just the most notable problem with this in the first episode… and I know it will be a problem with JNPR in episodes two and three because I’ve already seen those episodes.

You can’t scream canon adjacent in one breath, and fail to really take the time to flesh out these characters in the earliest episodes. I just don’t think that’s the best way to endear fans to a series that we’re not coming in completely blind on.

So my final thoughts on RWBY Ice Queendom are simple. Let’s wait and see. It might be a trash fire, it might get really good. As of right now, there’s just no way to tell. There are enough tidbits to make me feel like we’re going to get something good, and enough red flags to have me concerned. Either way, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Another take on episode 1 can be found here, reviewed by DoubleSama. I’m not entirely sure that they have seen the original RWBY series, but I do think their take adequately describes some of the confusion a person might feel if they are going into RWBY Ice Queendom entirely blind, or rusty on the wider show. That’s why it might be worth it to give it a look.

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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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.

To our patrons; thank you for supporting this content. For those of you who aren’t, and enjoy content like this, videos like these take time to produce, so if you like this content, please help to support it.

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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Writing Fan Fiction – Consider The Characters

Hey everyone, it’s Kern here. I’ve written a few posts about “fan fiction” before, basically centered around the impact of fandom and how to combat writers block.

These posts are not for people that want to be best selling authors. If you want to do that, you shouldn’t be writing fan fiction. They’re also not for those looking to make a quick buck, as that’s not the heart and soul of what fan fiction is. .. not to mention, that’s a questionable act besides.

No, these posts are low stress, low expectation, built around discussions based on a hobby that I care for greatly. I know many other people do too. When it comes to fan fiction, I read it, I write it and I love it.

I am such a huge supporter of fan fiction that I even choose to to read it over many best selling books. I made a blog post regarding that already. However, my view stands strong and I’m not likely to change that opinion any time soon. You can check that one out if you care to, I’ve linked it for your convenience.

To be succinct though, my preference comes down to the way the medium is handled. It isn’t perfect, far from it.

Fan fiction often lacks the punchier written format we expect from professionals, and to me that’s the main appeal. It will always be a diamond in the rough. That’s usually a good thing, as it means fans are enjoying thier ability to explore thier own creativity.

With my views of fan fiction laid bare and transparent for all to see, let’s move on to the meat and potatoes of this post. First though, I have an important question for you…

What is the one thing a good story cannot do without?

Well, there’s only one thing really… characters. Well-written, compelling characters are the single strongest asset to the fan fiction medium.

Fan fiction will inevitably be separated from other writing styles simply because the concept has already been laid out in front of you. Whatever your fandom of choice, there are already fans of it. You’ve already been given a set of predetermined parameters in which to work with. When we talk about gaming, anime, movies and television, the characters within the series are by far the bread and butter of any piece of writing.

The reason for this is because established characters we know and love are ones that we want more of. When the main series ends or takes a break, the fandom remains. It’s fun to interpret major set pieces in your own way. The characters are typically the first touch-stone fans use to do that… now clearly they aren’t the only building block of importance, but they are the one I want to look at today.

Aside from a few key examples where settings, and their obligatory set pieces become particularly noteworthy, those things will never tower over the characters themselves in a fan written work. When you boil it all down, the reason why is simple…

A story is about what happens, and the characters are who it happens to...

If characters aren’t compelling, readers just won’t give a rat’s ass what happens to them. Impeccable action sequences and mindfully placed drama doesn’t add anything if we can’t be brought to care about who those things are happening to.

No amount of skillful writing can save a story that has poorly written characters. Thankfully in the world of fan fiction, you aspiring writers out there already have a perfect template. The characters you know and already love. You’ve got the whole tool chest right in front of you. You know how they should look, you how they sound, you know their dialogue and vocal patterns.

The characters in the fandom you’re writing for have already been made. Like a child playing pretend, it’s up to you to decide how you want to play around with your imagination. There’s all kinds of ways you can do this.

You can choose to subvert what you know. I highly suggest this. Add a little flair, amplify key character traits and lessen others to background static to suit your needs in your fan fiction. Do you want to take your favorite action hero and cram him in a coffee shop? You can do that. Actually, funnily enough coffee shop fan fiction tends to be pretty popular too.

What to mix and match your favorite characters across different series, you can do that too! I’ve done that myself using Final Fantasy XI and RWBY. Both series have a lot of the same thematic elements, personal character struggles and compelling undertones to explore. These two series play off of each other particularly well for combat too.

Don’t believe me? Find a mage in a Final Fantasy game that casts “haste”, and then check out Weiss Schnee when she battles with yellow dust during Roman’s fight Atleasian Paladin in the RWBY series.

The clock Weiss makes for Blake really is a neat thing. and the skill as a dust mage plays off logic found in the mages of Final Fantasy games.

Both of these skills do the same thing. Speed up character attacks. These are two universes I absolutely love, and combining aspects of both really appealed to me. Putting aspects of both into the same fan fiction was just par for the course for me.

For my fan fiction, I chose to take Curilla V Mecru from the video game Final Fantasy XI, and place her into the RWBY universe in my fandom related writing.

Why was I compelled to do this? Easy, it’s because Curilla’s homeland of San d’Oria reminds me heavily of the kingdom of Mistral in RWBY.

This mixed with the fact that she shares so many common personality traits with Weiss Schnee and Winter Schnee of RWBY makes me wonder what these characters would be like if they could be friends (and perhaps romantic interests).

I decided to explore that, and fan fiction was my gateway through that journey.

The takeaway; the key of good characterization is to focus upon what interests you the most.

We’re likely to notice the aspects of characters that mean the most to us. Perhaps it’s their fighting style, their personality, or maybe it’s just the way they chose to dress. There are always aspects we, as fans, cling onto. Traits we love and tidbits we’re drawn to. However, it’s not just what we love about the characters that matters. It’s typically a well placed character flaw that seems the most interesting to explore.

Ultimately we won’t be brought to love every single thing about our favorite character. To be sure, if there isn’t a flaw someplace… well, that’s a huge issue and it is bad writing. You can still love a flaw while respecting that it is a flaw, though. When writing, play with those flaws and your readers will thank you.

At the end of the day fan fiction thrives not on the story you craft, but the interesting dynamics of the characters and world you showcase through your own eyes.

This has been Kernook of the Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at it’s finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you next time. Meanwhile, check out some of our other great content below. Be sure to join us over on Patreon to support more content like this. Also, we have a Twitch channel for gaming, come check us out!

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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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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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