Yeah, another reaction, rather than a larger countdown, or research-based post. Sorry! I’ll be posting a countdown, starting tomorrow, about my Top 22 Overwatch Heroes, so be ready for that!
Self-promotion aside. RWBY Volume 4, Episode 2. Damn. I’m sure for all those who have watched it, there’s a select few minutes that almost certainly grabbed your attention, but let’s go over the whole episode before that.
Roosterteeth is Just Showing Off
I’d like to preface my thoughts, by stating that the animation quality, if it wasn’t obvious enough during the first episode, is ridiculously good. The lighting effects are vastly improved and much more detailed than any prior season, and, unlike the first episode, we got to see a far more diluted, serious tone, which this animation does a great job of showcasing. Bright and happy when it needs to be, yet still capable of melancholy, and dark scenes, this episode reassured me that Roosterteeth didn’t just go big for the big fight scene, like they used to do – rather, we can be assured of great animation quality all the way through.
A Serious Note
Of note here, we got to see team RNJR stumble upon the ruins of a village, something that must have happened at least once or twice over the course of the time skip, but it was very interesting to actually see their reactions to tragedy. Ren rushing in and being practical, Nora’s diluted hopefulness, Ruby’s immediate desire to get help, and Jaune’s weary acceptance – it shows that they’ve all grown to some extent. Also during this scene, we got hints of future character background for both Ren and Nora, and I’m looking forward to how that will be handled!
With this episode, we got our first look at the inner workings of the Schnee family, and man, it’s rather interesting, to be honest. I’ll start by talking about a member of the family that people seem to be rather conflicted on – Whitley Schnee. A little bit prissy, a little bit snarky, and more than a bit sounding like the stereotypical spoiled rich kid, Whitley was described as “creepy,” having “a bad guy vibe,” or perhaps most elegantly, “a prick,” by the comments of the episode. Honestly though, I like him. He talks in a snobby way, but having been raised by the Schnee family, how couldn’t he? Admitting his respect towards Winter, and wishing good luck to Weiss, shows me that at the very least, he seems to have some sort of care to his siblings, even if we don’t know his personal views very well. Only time will tell if he becomes a good character or not, but for now, I think he seems rather promising.
Now, talking about Jacques Schnee, I think we can all agree that this guy is a douche, or at least a terrible father. Prone to anger, as we can see from his interactions with Ironwood (who is looking fineee by the way) selfish, as can be seen by his business-like attitude, and manipulative, this guy just…doesn’t seem like a good person, to put it bluntly. Not caring about Weiss’s peril during the Battle of Beacon, and essentially telling her that she’d be used, to get in the good graces of the people of Remnant, Jacques is certainly being built up as the villain of Weiss’s story. The concert that she was directed to sing at will almost certainly be either a huge characterizing point for Weiss in some regard, and I’m looking forward to how RT will portray that.
As far as characters we didn’t get to see much of, it’s interesting that Whitley casually mentions that their mother is out drinking “again,” implying a continual problem. It shows how Jacques Schnee is clearly the sole head of the household, and in a series with so many strong female characters, it’s a bit odd to see, creating a bit of a contrast from previous volumes. Also, we got introduced to Klein the butler, who many people have theorized to be based on the seven dwarves; as would make sense, considering Weiss’s own origins as Snow White. Personally, I’m enjoying his character, the one who brightens up Weiss’s day in the midst of a whole bunch of sadness. Also. “Little Snowflake?” That’s adorable!
Jaune and Ruby
Now. The last scene. That SCENE, goodness, there’s so much to like here. In my last post, I complained a bit about Jaune moving too far past Pyrrha’s death, but I take all that back, because this scene just made too much sense, and worked so well for Jaune’s character, while also giving insight to Ruby’s personal feelings.
Seeing Jaune training to an old recording Pyrrha presumably made, makes perfect sense. Her dialogue, although obviously a bit deep and emotional for a simple training exercise, gave the moment such importance. You can see Jaune hold back tears, you can see Jaune think of what could have been, and, most importantly, at the very end, you can see him take a deep breath, and steel himself, improving for his own, and Pyrrha’s sake. It’s brilliant, complex character development, showing without a word his manner of dealing with Pyrrha’s death, dealing with the pain, and moving forward to honor her, compared to just being lost in sadness. It was so…just. Man. This just proves to me that Jaune has quickly become a far, far stronger character from the bumbling idiot we knew in Volume 1, and even if he has lots to get through, as far as grieving for Pyrrha goes, I have faith that he’ll get through it in a healthy manner.
Now Ruby, however: Ruby’s two nightmares in this episode prove that she has not escaped from the happenings of the Battle of Beacon unscathed. It’s been eight months since then, and yet, these nightmares still seem to be plaguing her somewhat regularly. We can imply from these that she feels a huge sense of guilt, considering that she was the one who arrived only just in time to watch Pyrrha die. At the end of this scene, Ruby’s crestfallen expression was hugely needed- showing that Pyrrha’s legacy, apart from affecting Jaune, has hugely affected Ruby as well. It sets up her character for HUGE future development, that had honestly, up to this point, has been untouched. I’m definitely looking forward to how our small, honest soul will deal with her lasting guilt and sadness.
Everything, from the music, to the ambient, calming animation, and I think most of all, the facial expressions of both Jaune and Ruby, made this scene one of the best, if not the singular best, moments in RWBY.
Man. Volume 4 so far has been a freaking treat. Looking forward to the next episode!