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RWBY: Grimm Eclipse is Coming to the Nintendo Switch

RWBY: Grimm Eclipse Definitive Edition will indeed be coming to the Nintendo Switch. This is awesome news for those who have never played it or those who want to hunt Grimm on the go. The original RWBY: Grimm Eclipse was released on April 1st, 2014. The game is a hack and slash, like Dynasty Warriors. In those seven years since then some outfits and Team JNPR were added as DLC and that’s about it. Since then there were two mobile games that were released: RWBY: Amity Arena (which was a Clash Royale style game) and RWBY: Crystal Match (a RWBY Chibi match three game). Amity Arena shut down their servers on January 28th, 2021 and Crystal Match seems to have not had an update since 2019.

Until recently, it looked like the only RWBY game there was to look forward to was the one being made by Wayforward (The studio behind Shantae) and Arc System Works (The studio behind the Guilty Gear franchise and the Blazblue franchise). Then on March 25th, 2021 Nintendo dropped the RWBY: Grimm Eclipse Definitive Edition trailer. What separates the Definitive Edition from the original? All the DLC comes with the Definitive Edition for free and there is a new costume set too Power Armor.

From personally experience, this is a fun game to play with friends. Just kick back, relax, and slay some Grimm, and just have fun! RWBY: Grimm Eclipse Definitive Edition come out on May 13th 2021.

Diving Deep Into RWBY Volume 8 With Kerry Shawcross and Lindsay Jones

Fans have been clamoring to return to the world of Remnant and the time has finally arrived with RWBY coming back for Volume 8. After what transpired in the previous season, things are about to heat up with Team RWBY as they try to save what has left of Atlas as well as Remnant from Salem and her invading army while also avoiding a clash with General Ironwood’s own military after his betrayal. We got to sit down with writer Kerry Shawcross and Ruby herself, voice actress Lindsay Jones on what viewers can expect for the rest of the season.

With the first two episodes out in the open, both Shawcross and Jones have looked back at the process it took for them to put volume 8 out after a year since it was first announced. “It’s just kind of crazy how the pre-production was so well planned out that we were able to kind of prepare for COVID. But at the same time, the team is working so hard from home to adjust during the COVID period. So I have seen people from the production team go above and beyond, and I feel like every volume they just take it one step further,” Jones said. Shawcross addressed how the split with Team RWBY will affect the season moving forward. “We’ve essentially got a three-way war going on. We’ve got Ruby and our heroes as a unit. We’ve got Ironwood and we’ve got Salem.”

With every volume, RWBY has tackled themes like strength in numbers and being true to yourself. In volume 8, the characters are all trying to figure out what is most important to them after finally coming back together. “I think from a broader standpoint, I think this season is a lot about figuring out what is important to you and making sure that you stay true to that,” Shawcross explained. Despite being together, the group also has different ideologies as to what the next course of action is for Atlas and for Remnant, as Jones informed us. Speaking on Ruby’s relationship with the team, she said, “There is that emotional separation between her and Yang, between her and Blake. Same with Weiss, obviously with a bigger global separation with the Atlas as a whole and their role in the world of Revenant.”

The voice actress also spoke on how she has connected with Ruby over the years as she has has grown from a novice hunter into a leader. “There is a little piece of us in every character we play because as an actor, you have to have that connection, that emotional connection with the character you’re playing with. Ruby, it goes so much further than that.” Jones expressed just how connected she is from Ruby, having played her for a while. “As far as my connection with the character itself, I feel like she is a huge reflection in my growth and my 20s…We in the real world are dealing with a lot of distrust. I completely understand where Ruby is coming from that standpoint.”

This season has also given other characters more prominence, like Oscar. Shawcross went into some detail on the relationship with Oscar and Ozpin in Volume 8. “Things between them are complicated and will continue to be complicated. Its a really interesting relationship. But it is still two people that trust each other but have had moments of conflict and figuring out how to get past that.” He also added about the journey Penny would be going through this season. “Penny is part robot, but she’s also part human. Figuring out what your path is and how you’re interpreting what is going on. We haven’t seen that in chapter one with her…and she’s kind of pushing back now. That’s going to continue to play into some things with her and Winter.”

With COVID still in the world, it hasn’t stopped Rooster Teeth from working on RWBY’s current season, which is still in production. “We are still working on Volume 8 and we are also working on Volume 9. In some ways, it has changed in larger ways and some in less meaningful ways. We’re really trying to find that balance of making sure everybody working on the show and their quality of life remains great. Making sure the show is great as it can be.” Jones agreed with how well she and the crew have been adjusting to their workload. “The spirit and soul are still there and I think that is a fantastic testament. When you get in the booth, it doesn’t feel any different to me. Despite working remotely, Jones looks forward to getting things back to normal. “I would still love to work up toward a group recording in some setting. Maybe once COVID is over, we can look into that?”

So what can fans expect for the rest of Volume 8? In one word, Jones described it as a “spectacle” and praised the animation. “Reading what I read in the script, I feel like anytime I read the scene descriptions, I get really into it and to see that come into fruition animation-wise, is a whole different story. That translation is beautiful and those animators are wizards.” Adding to that, Shawcross tells fans to expect a lot to come out this season. “A very dense season is what I will say.”

Check out our video from the interview above and don’t forget to tune into RWBY on Rooster Teeth’s website.

I asked RWBY Fans how RWBY Changed Their Lives

On the RWBY SubReddit, I decided to ask RWBY fans how RWBY changed their lives for a personal project to spread awareness about the positive aspects of the series. From meeting new friends to learning how to speak English, RWBY has left a very positive impact on people’s lives. Despite their differences and likes/dislikes about the series, one thing is for certain the series has drastically left an impact.

RWBY and Creativity

RWBY has significantly helped creators express their love of fanfiction, animation, and all forms of art. How has the series helped you creatively? For us, we have created several RWBY videos from reactions to theories and more.

In the post above you see others in the RWBY SubReddit supporting each other’s work such as reading mini-fics from user JMHSrowing. Supporting other artists is what All Ages of Geek is passionate about and something we truly appreciate others doing for one another in fandoms.

In this post from writer IAmMenace, they have shown us how RWBY has even gotten them closer to God and learned why encouragement is important to writing or rewriting a story.

RWBY also helps others learn to become not just better writers, but better storytellers. The series allows people like TheMaster4444 to overcome some writing habits like “grimdark, over angsty self-indulgences” (who hasn’t written angsty fanfics, be honest) and keep creating new stories with improvements.

RWBY and Friendships

According to these RWBY SubReddit users RWBY has allowed them to connect with others all around the world and even learn different languages. How cool is that?

And most importantly…

You have to admit RWBY let us all get a little obsessed with Neo!

How has RWBY changed your life? Be sure to check out all the answers on the RWBY SubReddit here!

And be sure to check out our reactions and coverage on all things RWBY on one of our segments on our YouTube Channel!

Rooster Teeth’s RWBY Reactions Volume 8 and Beyond

All Ages of Geek is gearing up for RWBY Reactions to Volume 8 and beyond. To start we have several RWBY theory videos prepped along with some upcoming discussions and podcasts with our community. Our upcoming podcast The Tooncasters will also feature full-length discussions about Rooster Teeth’s RWBY from the characters, plot, writing, and more.

Our reactions will be Early Access on Patreon (1 WEEK Ahead) and then be released onto our website and YouTube channel. Reactions will focus on the POV of characters while discussing “positive” aspects of the series. Patrons will also be featured on The Tooncasters to discuss RWBY and their thoughts on each episode.

There have been a few updates made on All Ages of Geek which included removing old reactions (Volume 5-7) due to copyright laws and also a few glitched files. We have taken your feedback into consideration and going forward will be more careful with footage for Volume 8 and beyond.

RWBY Volume 8’s release date is November 7, 2020 and runs for 14 episodes on Rooster Teeth’s website. What are some theories you guys have about RWBY Volume 8? Let us know down below!

Ten Things I’m Anticipating/Predicting for RWBY Volume 8

Note: There will be major spoilers in this article. If you have yet to watch through Volume 7, this is not the article for you to read.
On July 18th, 2013, an animated project (led by the late Monty Oum) aired on Rooster Teeth’s Youtube channel, which would change the lives of countless people across the globe: RWBY. Since the first episode (also called chapters), we all knew this series was going to be special. Seven years later, we’re anticipating the premiere of Volume 8 and were even given a small sneak peek, at this year’s Comic-Con, of what to expect. During the waiting time for Chapter 1, many have discussed what they’re anticipating, as the stakes are even high this time for our heroines and heroes. Given what happened in the last Volume, you will similar predictions from not only myself but other RWBY fans. In celebration of Volume 8, I am going to share with you 12 of my predictions/what I’m anticipating for this Volume.

12. The People of Mantle Rise Up

I mainly put this one on the list due to the teaser clip we were given at Comic-Con. While the chances are very slim, I’d like to think that the people of Mantle are given some type of motivation to rise up and defend the place they call home. Who knows, maybe they’ll help out our main characters with making preparations for this big fight that is quite literally at their front door.

11. The Schnee Family Take a Stand

Just like with the previous prediction, I don’t have very much to say with this one. It’s mostly me hoping that Willow and Whitley do something, given that the unavoidable dangers threaten their lives as well. This could be the moment to bring a more positive light to the Schnee family’s name.

10. Tyrian On The Loose

All throughout Volume 7, Tyrian was a massive ball of chaotic energy, more than we’ve already seen, which lead to some intense and heartbreaking scenes. By the end of Volume 7, we knew that hadn’t seen the last of the scorpion faunus. While I haven’t come across any info about what he’s going to do, I know that I’ll be keeping an eye out for him throughout every chapter in Volume 8. Who knows, maybe he’ll break Watts out from prison and return to Salem for further orders. However, I get the feeling that Tyrian will just run off after he breaks Watts out. In the end, he’s going to be more trouble than ever.

Tyrian Callows | RWBY Wiki | Fandom
Tyrian Callows
Photo from rwby.fandom.com

9. Oscar and Ozpin “Bonding Moments”

At the end of Volume 7, after being silent for quite a while, Ozpin has finally returned. From the looks of it, there’s a strong possibility that the Wizard could be playing a major role this time. I’m sensing that we’ll have plenty of dialogue between him and Oscar and perhaps some moments where he takes over Oscar’s body with the other characters. Who knows, maybe Ozpin will take a stand to at least try to fight the big fight, even without a surefire plan.

Oscar Pine | RWBY Wiki | Fandom
Oscar Pine
Photo from rwby.fandom.com

8. Qrow and Robyn Break Out and Confront Ironwood

I’m not going to lie, the last two chapters of Volume 7 hit me really hard. I can see Qrow going through a serious mental battle with himself (after finally quitting alcohol). Given that Robyn Hill was arrested with him, I’m hoping that she’ll take some responsibility for her actions that led to Clover’s death. While I wouldn’t say she was solely responsible for his death (I also blaim Tyrian), Robyn did make some questionable decisions that could’ve been avoided. That being said, I can see her trying to help Qrow heal, thus leading to them breaking out from prison to face Ironwood and stop him (as Qrow promised Clover in his final moments). The methods of escape could involve taking advantage of the chaos (Salem attacking Atlas) to break out, but all I know is that confronting Ironwood is going to be part of the big plan.

robyn x qrow | Tumblr
Qrow and Robyn
Photo from tumblr.com

7. Penny Trains to Control Her Maiden Powers

Seeing Penny become the new Winter Maiden was a fun new twist near the end of Volume 7 (especially with the build up). The only thing that worries me is how she’ll become a bigger target for not only Cinder, but Ironwood, since his plan was for Winter Schnee to be the Winter Maiden. However, I am very proud of Penny for making such a big decision by herself and taking such a heavy responsibility. Although she’ll little free time to do so, our new Winter Maiden is going to take some time to get used to her new powers. Who knows, given that Penny is a android (with a big human heart), her AI program could speed up the progress with understanding her powers.

My 2 Cents on RWBY: Volume 7, Chapter 13 – “The Enemy of Trust ...
Penny Polendina as the new Winter Maiden
Photo from 2centscritic.com

6. Penny and Pietro vs Whale Grimm

First Pinocchio, then Gepetto, and now we have Monstro entering the stage at the end of Volume 7. While the whale grimm could also be based on Moby Dick, given the connections it’s leaning more towards a Pinocchio trio. If things are going where I think they are, we’re getting a moment where Penny (with her new Winter Maiden power) and Pietro fight against this monstrous foe in order to protect not only Atlas, but the people left to fend for themselves in Mantle. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that we have to say goodbye to Penny (again) and Pietro. Given the his current condition (pieces of his aura missing and the coughs), I’m seeing plenty of red flags on Pietro for Volume 8. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a nail-biting epic battle.

Whale Grimm | RWBY Wiki | Fandom
The Whale Grimm
Photo from rwby.fandom.com

5. Salem and Ozpin/Oscar See Each Other Again

A reunion that I’m hoping and yet fearing for, I have a strong feeling that these two are going to see each other again. When, where, and how I have no idea, but the very end of Volume 7 is definitely giving the fans some serious hype for these two to cross paths again. While this is definitely not the end of RWBY, it’ll be interesting to see the two, who started everything, see each other after who knows how long. All I know is that things are going to get heated given Salem’s grudge against Ozpin for “betraying” her and nothing will be safe from the crossfire. Ozpin may have reincarnated into a different host, but she’ll know that it’s him.

4. Ironwood Falls

With everything that he has done, the “Tinman” has, without a doubt, lost his heart and his downfall is on its way. The only question is: who will be the one to do it? A big part of me is hoping that Qrow and Robin will be the ones to stop him, there’s a part of me that sees Salem being the one to do it. Not only that, but given that the theme for this volume is distrust, Ironwood’s paranoia is going to be through the roof. While the chances are slim, I can imagine Ironwood going through some intense episodes of mental breakdowns with even his most trusted soldiers. I’m also very interested in how he’s going to react to the news of Clover’s death. All I can say is: Ironwood’s journey is going to end in Volume 8.

rwby screenshots | Explore Tumblr Posts and Blogs | Tumgir
James Ironwood
Photo from tumgir.com

3. Division of the Ace Ops

This might not happen, but I feel like the Ace Ops aren’t going to function as effectively as they previously did. With Clover gone, who knows which member will lead them, or if they’ll even come to that kind of agreement. Given the very slim possibility, I’m kind of hoping that Marrow switches sides and helps out Ruby and company fight the real enemy.

Team RWBY vs. Ace-Ops | RWBY Wiki | Fandom
Team RWBY vs the Ace Ops
Photo from rwby.fandom.com

2. Relic of Creation

This is a pretty open-ended topic, but the Relic of Creation definitely has to play a big part in Volume 8. Now that Penny is the new Winter Maiden, one of the main objectives is obtaining Atlas’s Relic. However, this move is going to lead to some serious consequences, given that the Relic is responsible for keeping Atlas floating above Mantle. This brings up the big question of whether or not Ruby and company would be able to handle such a huge risk with such massive consequences. Part of me is hoping that Ruby and company don’t obtain the relic, since only Penny can open the vault, so it’ll still be safe and secure.

Relic of Creation | RWBY Wiki | Fandom
The Relic of Creation
Photo from rwby.fandom.com

1. Cinder and Neo

Now that Cinder and Neo have the Relic of Knowledge in their hands, the big question is: what’s their next move? Sure, Cinder could go straight to Salem to deliver it to her, but I feel like that would be too soon. Both Cinder and Neo have unfinished business with Ruby, so I get the feeling that they’re going to take care of the root of their personal problems. Cinder could also make a second attempt at obtaining the Winter Maiden’s powers, but given that Penny is with Ruby makes me lean towards “no.” Cinder got another direct hit from Ruby’s Silver Eyes attack, so I highly doubt she’ll go with that tactic. However, since Neo is with her, the odds may slightly lean in her favor. At the end of the day, Cinder and Neo are checking off their list of things to do and will remain an difficult obstacle to get through.

7 Questions We Want Answered in RWBY Volume 7
Neo and Cinder
Photo from ap2hyc.com

Conclusion

At the end of the day, Volume 8 can go in a number of directions with a variety of twists and turns. Some of my predictions could be confirmed, even the ones that seem a bit out there and unlikely. Other than showing our heroines and heroes obtaining flying/gliding motorbikes and Volume 8 taking place over the course of two days, Rooster Teeth has been keeping their cards close to their chest. All I know is, there are going to be plenty of nail-biting scenes and we’re going to be questioning almost everything that happens. What about all of you? Do you have any predictions for Volume 8? What are you anticipating? Feel free to let me know in the comments. Until then, this is CuriousCat-13: signing off.

Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy – Seige – REVIEW

dunnununununun-nununununun- Dun nun nun nun nuhnun…

We all know the theme song…

Transformers. Toys to sell to Kids.
Transformers. We really sell to Nerds!
Grab your wallet to help us pay for all our rent.
Transformers!


Transformers: War of Cybertron is a 2010 video game developed by High Moon Studios.

Try not to cry, Aaron. Try not to cry…

Wait a minute…

If Robots in Disguise can steal titles, so can we….

Transformers: Siege, is the first chapter of a planned trilogy set to be released on Netflix’s streaming platform, to coincide with Hasbro’s latest line of toys and merchandise related to everyone’s favorite transforming alien robots. The show is developed by Hasbro and Rooster Teeth, with animation by Polygon Pictures— the same studio responsible for the critically acclaimed Transformers: Prime TV show

Unlike most Transformers stories, Siege is set on a war torn Cybertron during the final days of the Cybertronian Civil War. The story is told in six 25-minute episodes and can be binge-watched within 2-3 hours.

If you are a big Transformers fan like I am, this show is a blast to watch as it takes elements from the Classic Generation One cartoon, the live-action films, and even from the IDW comics to blend them into a gritty, action packed world. The story seems to be Rooster Teeth’s take on the Aligned continuity. Hasbro has been implementing this continuity on every other subsequent Transformers storyline, since the first War for Cybertron game.

Remember that opening scene from the Bumblebee movie? This is that; but we get more of it here. Fans have waited for a transformers show/movie that didn’t rely on human characters to tell the story, but instead focused more on the robots in disguise. Fans really don’t want to see humans in movies anymore. They just want to watch two factions of badass transforming robots blow each other up, minus Michael Bay.

ANIMATION

Elita takes aim at Bumblebee after telling her that Frenzy is blue…

The animation for this show is pretty neat. The characters are heavily influenced by Generation One‘s classic designs, but modified with a gritty finish to fit the darker tone of the story. I love the cool, heavily “battle-damaged” look, present on all Transformers, as it gives them all personality, and a sense of history. Their paint jobs are faded and scratched; you get the sense that these bots have seen better days. In some cases, like Megatron, they’ll have scars or bullet holes on their thick Cybertronian armor that really sells the war torn look. It felt like the War has taken its toll on its people, and it adds a level of grittiness to the dark atmosphere Siege is trying to establish.

One of the cool things about this show’s character models is the fact that the Animation team used Hasbro’s original blueprints for the War for Cybertron Trilogy toyline (Transformers. Toys to sell to kids…). Which means the character models you see on the screen are SUPER toy accurate, down to the smallest peg that connects an Autobot’s crotch to his chest when in vehicle mode. It’s not a pleasant image, but it happens sometimes.

As cool as that sounds, it does affect the animation quality quite a bit, as it makes some of the characters’s movements feel stiff and unnatural. The character movements become “janky” when animated in prolonged hand-to-hand combat sequences. Sometimes, parts would distort in an unnatural way, breaking the illusion of sturdy war machines. For example, Optimus Prime’s hips would have this weird “rubbery” animation whenever he walked, and it becomes distracting when you notice it. There was also a number of asset reuse in the show that is hard to ignore. Meaning, you’ll see many characters share the same body model but painted with a different color. Though this was expected for the Seeker Armada, having multiple copies of Reflector as a generic Decepticon lackey proved to be distracting. Here’s to hoping that we’ll get more unique designs in later episodes.

VOICE ACTING

The voice acting lacked impact and left much to be desired.

Peter Cullen and Frank Welker did not reprise their respective roles as Optimus Prime and Megatron. Instead, Jake Foushee and Jason Marnocha reprise the roles of the Autobot and Decepticon leaders respectively, having also providing voice work for them in Machinima’s Transformers: Prime Wars Trilogy. But we don’t talk about that…

Thank Primus, he doesn’t have a mouth. *shudders*

Peter Cullen and Frank Welker are not always going to be around, so we need to find other voice actors to take up the torch. However, Jake Foushee’s Optimus Prime feels like a cheap imitation of the original, and brings nothing new to the character whatsoever. Optimus Prime was written to be younger and more impatient, but that character development is nothing if the voice acting fails to deliver.

I found it very distracting to listen to Optimus Prime trying to sound like Optimus Prime. Foushee’s performance as the Autobot leader feels shallow and delivery of certain lines felt forced. He’s trying to pull off an impression of Peter Cullen’s Prime, and you can only take the character so far in that way. I would have preferred if he went in a different direction, providing a new different take on the character rather than trying (and failing) to emulate Cullen’s iconic voice.

There’s this line in the first episode that broke the illusion for me. It was a scene where Elita One and Hound suggest killing Bumblebee (who is not an Autobot at this point of the story) to prevent him from revealing the Autobot base to the Decepticons. Optimus was furious with this suggestion and chastises them with the line: “We are not Decepticons!” The delivery honestly made me laugh. Foushee’s Optimus Prime lacks the same gravitas that Cullen brings to the table when portraying the character.

Dem juicy lips tho…

On the other hand, Jason Marnocha’s Megatron was actually pretty good. Though, I do feel that this version of Megatron is a dull comparison to Marnocha’s earlier portrayal of the Decepticon leader in the Prime Wars trilogy. In that series, Megatron had a more jovial personality, who takes pride in himself, and contrasted Optimus Prime’s stoic and reserved personality. He lacked that trait this time around, but he did offer a more reserved version of Megatron that is walking the line between an honorable leader with an iron fist, and power-hungry tyrant hellbent on revenge. This Megatron did remind me of Corey Burton’s portrayal of the character in Transformers: Animated, which is my favorite interpretation of Megatron aside from Frank Welker.

Sorry David Kaye. But Come on, Corey Burton knocked it out of the park. I still love you though.

Cullen and Welker aren’t immortals and we need someone to take up the mantle. I believe that Garry Chalk and David Kaye would have been better choices to reprise the roles of Optimus and Megatron respectively as they have become synonymous with those characters post-G1, from Beast Wars to the Unicron Trilogy. They were the voice actors for Optimus and Megatron that I grew up with. They brought a different take on those characters that made them instant fan favorites. Just watch this scene below…

No one:
Optimus Prime: OUR WORLDS ARE IN DANGER…

I would rather have original and new takes on those characters than getting cheap imitations of Cullen and Welker’s versions. Just sayin’.

As for the other characters, I didn’t really have too much of a problem, since they didn’t have long enough screen times to truly stand out. But there were characters that were too difficult to ignore, namely Shockwave and Soundwave. Shockwave sounds like a generic villain devoid of personality, and Soundwave, quite plainly, just sounds bad. They did not do a good job emulating the iconic Soundwave voice. Most of his dialogue was inaudible and you really can’t tell what he was saying without subtitles. Their attempt to execute a proper distorted Soundwave voice fails miserably, making it the most inferior Soundwave incarnation to date. (And I love Soundwave…)

Shout out to Frank Todaro for being an entertaining Starscream. He had that Chris Latta Starscream feel to his delivery that I always enjoy in any new iteration of the treacherous Seeker Commander. I’m eager to see where the showrunners take the character in future episodes.

STORY

Now what about the story? Is it any good?

This looks familiar…

The story begins with Bumblebee and Wheeljack looking for Energon, just like in the first episode of the Generation One cartoon. However, this time around, Bumblebee is not an Autobot at the beginning. Instead, he identifies himself as a scavenger who doesn’t want any part of the War. Megatron criticizes him for being a coward in the first episode, comparing him to Wheeljack who weaars “his allegiance and fate with pride.” It’s a new cynical take on Bumblebee that breathes some new life to the character. Bumblebee is usually optimistic, and is often the “kid appeal” character, so it’s nice to see him depicted as a reluctant hero this time around.

The Autobots are scavenging for Energon in an attempt to leave Cybertron using the Ark, a massive Cybertronian Ship that acts as the Autobot’s Headquarters. Bumblebee leads Wheeljack to an abandoned warehouse, where they discover an old space bridge and ambushed by Decepticon Seekers and Megatron.

I may not turn into a gun, but I assure you, I’m capable of “Bang!”

Siege is a very good start to the trilogy and sets up a classic Transformer storyline with a darker atmosphere. I love how we see the Autobots in their darkest hour here. They have always been the underdogs ever since the cartoons, and seeing them lose the War for Cybertron creates this dystopic 1984-eque setting, with ole Buckethead Megs as its Big Brother. It’s a great way of showing the audience that the stakes are high, and the Autobots are hanging on by a mere thread.

However, I feel that this series’ strength is in its characters rather than the actual plot. The Allspark is introduced in episode 2, turning the story into yet another “hunt for a McGuffin”, a trope that the Transformers franchise has become known for. Yes, the Allspark is a big part of TF lore. The events surrounding the Allspark and its ejection into space, has become the new standard for transitioning the Autobot-Decepticon War on Cybertron to Earth. But I hoped that they avoided this story element for the first season, and established a “guerilla warfare” story line in its stead, where the Autobots are truly on the brink of extinction. The Allspark made for a cartoonish plot device that made the story feel very predictable at certain times. Though it does have offer some twists and turns along the way.

I love how the characters interact in this story specifically with how certain Autobots and Decepticons interact with one another when occupying the same scene. You have a moment in which they are fighting with words rather than blasters. It’s philosophical warfare that you don’t really see that often in the series and I appreciate that the show runners included that aspect into the series. I do, however, feel that the Decepticons have a stronger argument than the Autobots. The Decepticons fought against a very corrupt caste system on Cybertron that determined one’s function in Cybertron society based on alternate forms. The concept of depicting Megatron as a gladiator that inspired and led a movement against Cybertron’s unjust class structure was borrowed from the IDW Transformers comic, and has become a standard in many origin stories in later iterations.

Yeah, Transformers have politics.

Optimus throws the word “freedom” around and doesn’t really justify it properly in the story. We know that Megatron cares about his cause and sees it noble, despite wanting to destroy the Autobot bourgeoisie. Megatron is essentially a Cybertronian version of Lenin and Stalin in this story.

Til All are One, comrade.

We have a lot of characters that don’t really get enough time to shine, but we enjoy every second they appear on screen. I feel that they wanted to include every Transformer ever, even if they couldn’t, and I appreciated that. Bumblebee disappears for half of the series only to return when he becomes a McGuffin; Ratchet becomes this independent Cybertronian medic who’s grown weary of the war and helps out any Cybertronian in need regardless of faction; and Jetfire’s transition from Decepticon to Autobot calls back to the character’s arc in the original G1 cartoon. This version of Jetfire is not like the docile scientist in G1, instead he is Starscream’s predecessor as Decepticon Seeker Commander who values honor above anything else. But the one character who gets her time in the limelight is Elita One, and by Primus, it’s about time.

Optimus: Would you like me to play “The Touch” while you make your debut, my love?
Elita: Do it.

Elita One is my favorite character in this entire series thus far. She is the most fleshed out Autobot aside from Optimus, and serves as a very good foil to Optimus. For those who are uncultured in Transformers deep lore, sit down cause I’m about to educate you. Elita One is essentially Optimus Prime’s female counterpart. That means two things: 1) she is a capable leader and just as noble as Optimus; and 2) she is Optimus Prime’s significant other. She is the first female Transformer introduced to canon in the original Generation One cartoon. She debuted in the episode “War Dawn,” where the Aerial Bots time traveled to Cybertron before the War and where the viewers learned the origin of Optimus Prime. I can ramble on about deep lore, but I’m not going to do that. BUT, if you want the basics on Elita One’s origins, check out Chris McFeely’s video on YouTube.

Yeah, these two together on screen brings me joy.

[Spoilers from here on out. You’ve been warned. If you don’t want spoilers, skip down until you see the Autobot/Decepticon transition video]

I’ve always considered Elita One to be Optimus’s true second in command. Siege brings that concept back but fleshes out her character a bit more than they did in the original G1 cartoon. Linsay Rousseau does a phenomenal job of bringing Optimus Prime’s most trusted ally to life. Elita offers Optimus emotional support while giving him military counsel, often questioning Optimus Prime’s decisions motivated mostly by desperation. The writers could’ve done a better job with how Optimus handled Elita’s military counsel. Optimus seemed to ignore most of her advise rather than actually taking them into account.

Elita One was, in a sense, Optimus Prime’s moral compass. She is not a perfect character by any means. I feel that she ends nagging Optimus when she becomes the new military commander of the Autobots. I feel that because the show runners decided to kill Ultra Magnus, in order to promote Elita to the position of second-in-command, the character struggled with juggling her duties as military commander and moral compass for the Autobot leader. Since Elita One became a military commander, a role that often requires compromising one’s morals to achieve victory in warfare, she couldn’t fulfill the role of moral compass to its full extent. Despite this, it gave her character some depth that I didn’t expect, and I welcomed that.

I don’t understand why they killed Magnus this early on. If Magnus stayed around longer, we would have had an interesting dynamic between the three leaders of the Autobots. Magnus and Elita would offer two different solutions to a problem, and Optimus would have to choose or come up with a compromise. Ultra Magnus could have been a cynical advisor, while Elita served as an optimistic counter. Optimus would then be the mediator for both sides. It would’ve been interesting to watch that dynamic unfold, and could’ve served as a reasonable factor for Magnus’ surrender to the Decepticons.

There were many twists in the series to keep classic fans on their toes, but nothing too radical. It’s Transformers, just the way we like it.

[SPOILERS END HERE]

Overall, this was a great first chapter to get fans excited for the next two installments. It has just enough G1 nostalgia to satisfy old fans, and enough new elements to attract newcomers to the series. I feel that hardcore fans of the franchise will appreciate this series more, but casuals can still find this show to be an entertaining watch.

Though the story becomes a pretty basic McGuffin story, the characters are interesting enough to keep you watching. Elita One is definitely the breakout character of this series, with Bumblebee taking the back seat this time around. The animation evokes nostalgia for the classic cartoons and provides a neat image of watching your action figures come to life. It is not completely perfect and the voice work lacks enough of an impact to be all that memorable. Hopefully, whatever this first chapter lacked will be remedied in later seasons.

Transformers: War for Cybertron – Seige is now available for streaming only on Netflix.

Manga Review – RWBY: The Official Manga, Vol. 1

First off, I must confess: I have never seen the RWBY anime. In fact, I didn’t even know about RWBY until I read other other articles my fellow writers have contributed to the site. But upon delving into some research, my intrigue was immediately sparked by the show’s description. The problem was that there are nearly 100 episodes to catch up on if I wanted to start the anime. Conveniently for me, the first volume of RWBY: The Official Manga is currently available to read. I decided that it might be easier to follow along with the story through the manga in its beginning stages.

from Viz Media

The protagonist of the story is Ruby Rose, a scythe-wielding prodigal warrior with a huge heart. Written and illustrated by Bunta Kinami, the manga starts with her stopping a robbery at a Dust shop (upon further research I have learned this is also how the anime starts). Ruby is an aspiring huntress and showcases incredible combat skill and power beyond her years in dispatching the criminals. She then meets Glenda Goodwitch, who takes her to see the headmaster of Beacon Academy, Professor Ozpin. Ozpin praises her handling of the thieves and interviews her about becoming a Huntress. He invites Ruby to enroll in Beacon Academy, despite being two years younger than most first-year students.

Ruby starts her first day on Beacon’s campus with her older sister Yang as her tour guide. She immediately develops a reputation around the school and becomes known as the “grade-skipper”. One of the first students she meets is Weiss Schnee, heiress to the Schnee Dust Company and a cold girl in both personality and in Semblance. Weiss immediately takes a disliking to the “grade-skipper” despite Ruby’s best efforts to remain cordial. Other students are soon introduced, including the cat-eared Blake Belladonna, the sheepish Jaune Arc, and the esteemed Pyrrha Nikos.

VIZ | RWBY Manga
from Viz Media

Professor Ozpin instructs the students to report to Beacon Cliff for their first lesson. He aks them to descend into the Emerald Forest below and collect relics from the temple ruins. He also informs them that the first person they make eye contact with upon their arrival will be their partner for the next four years. Ruby hopes that she sees her sister first so that they will become the perfect pair. Ozpin further warns the students that the Emerald Forest is home to Grimm: monstrous creatures that take various shapes and forms and are capable of nothing but destruction. Despite this looming threat, Ruby is still more afraid of locking eyes with Weiss Schnee than any brainless beasts. Ruby must soon learn that she has to overcome all her fears if she aims to be a Huntress.

VIZ on Twitter: "Read a free preview of RWBY: The Official Manga ...
from Viz Media

The first volume of RWBY: The Official Manga fantastically highlights all the familiar faces for fans of the anime while formally introducing them and the world of Remnant to newcomers. The black and white artwork brings the story to life in a new perspective from the anime’s colorful style. As I understand, the soundtrack is an especially beloved feature of the anime, which is obviously absent in the manga. However, it packs enough charm, character development, and action into its five chapters to treat readers to a similarly fun and heartwarming experience. I look forward to reading upcoming chapters and joining Team RWBY’s adventures. Hopefully after the third volume I can jump in discussions with the seasoned RWBY veterans at AAOG.

The Culture Behind the Grimm

If there was one show that I immediately fell in love with, it is RWBY. What can I say about it that people have not already said? The characters, the theories, the ships, and more. It is an all you can eat buffet of potential to get into, with dessert. I love the lore of the world of Remnant as much as the next person, but one thing that gets me thinking is, ironically, the one thing without a mind of their own. The Grimm. Now, Rooster Teeth did a great job explaining what Grimm are, and that is not what I am talking about. I am talking about the culture behind the Grimm, and the references, or possible references, to said culture.

            One of the first Grimm we witness is the Beowolf. Beowolves are wolf like Grimm that are pack hunters. Fitting that the first time we see them in the Red Trailer since Ruby is based on Little Red Riding Hood. Now, their name is also the title of an Old English epic, Beowulf. Beowulf was simply the story of an awesome hero killing monsters and looking cool doing it. Seriously! The first monster we see him kill in his story killed a lot of people in a mead hall several times, and Beowulf fights it barehanded because he wants to make it fair!

            The second Grimm we see is in the White Trailer, which Weiss fights is called an Arma Gigas. This is where things get a bit complicated. What it is comes down to two things. In the RWBY Anthology manga, they (the author) says it is a suit of armor that is filled with multiple Grimm. However, there is a Grimm called a Geist. Geists, when they possess inanimate objects that are large, it as Gigas at the end of its name. More on Geists later. Now Gigas, as a term has roots in Greece. Gigas is Greek for giant. So Arma Gigas means weapon giant, fitting that it was wielding a giant sword.

            The third Grimm we see is the Ursa Minor. We see this in Volume 1, Chapter 6: The Emerald Forest. The Ursa Minor is a reference to the constellation of the same name, which means Little Bear. We see them in a fight scene when Yang fights three of them. This is fitting since Yang is based on Goldilocks, and she fights three of them. Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but Goldilocks is a lot more violent.

            The fourth Grimm we see is the King Taijitu. We see this one in Volume 1, Chapter 6: The Emerald Forest as well. The King Taijitu is a two headed snake, one-half black and one-half white. This is a reference to the term Taijitu, which is what the Yin and Yang symbol is called. It is also based on the Amphisbaena, a two headed snake in Greek mythology.

            The fifth Grimm we see is a giant Death Stalker. Now the Death Stalker we see in Volume 1, Chapter 7: The Emerald Forest Part 2 is not the average size Death Stalker. Death Stalker, much like their real-life counterpart of the same name, are scorpions. They have pincers, a stinger that is full of poison and can burrow underground. Now unlike their real-life counterpart their stinger can glow much like an anglerfish, which Jaune fell for.

            The sixth Grimm we see a Nevermore. The Nevermore can be as large as Remnant’s airships and have the ability to fire off its feathers, as seen in their first full appearance in Volume 1, Chapter 8: Players and Pieces. Now, the Nevermore gets its name from the Edgar Allan Poe poem The Raven, specifically from the line “Quoth the Raven ‘Nevermore.’” The Nevermore is also based on the Stymphalian Birds which were made of metal, man-eating, and could also launch its feathers

            The seventh Grimm we see is the Boarbatusk. The Boarbatusk appears in Volume 1, Chapter 10: The Badge and the Burden Part 2. The Boarbatusk may not seem intimidating, been just a boar with large tusks, however its power and potential speed makes up for it. It can charge forward curled up into a ball. Now, its name comes from the Latin word ‘barbatus’, which means bearded and babirusa, which is a type of boar which is known for its tusks

            The eighth Grimm is related to another one I mentioned. This is the Ursa Major. Seen in Volume 1, Chapter 14: Forever Fall Part 2. This is the Ursa Minor’s bigger, meaner, and older cousin. Also named after constellation, which means Big Bear, it definitely earns that title, and is not the last “superior” version of a Grimm in the show.

            The ninth Grimm we see is actually not show through a fight scene, but as an observation in Volume 2, Chapter 9: Search and Destroy. This is the Goliath, an elephant like Grimm. The Goliath gets its name from Goliath, a Philistine giant from Abrahamic religions, which was said to be nine feet (2.7 m) tall. It is also based visually on the African elephant.

            The tenth Grimm is simple called Creep. Creeps are unique in this case because they are not based on anything from any culture. Seen in Volume 2, Chapter 11: No Brakes, they have parts of animals that some Grimm just lack. According to The World of RWBY: The Official Companion, Creeps are based on terror birds.

            The eleventh Grimm has only been seen once. This has no official name, but people call it the Beetle Grimm, since that is what it looks like. This Grimm was in Volume 3, Chapter 7: Beginning of the End. In which it is summoned by Cinder, spews some black substance in the face of Amber (who at the time was the Fall Maiden), and has the ability drain Aura and siphon it to someone else.

            The twelfth Grimm we see is the Griffon. Seen in Volume 3, Chapter 10: Battle of Beacon, these Griffons are much like mythological counterpart, are part lion and part eagle. Instead of cawing like birds, they roar like lions. There is not much more to say about them. They are exactly what you would expect from griffons.

            The thirteenth Grimm we see is the bigger, stronger, and nastier version of the Beowolf, the Alpha Beowolf. Seen in Volume 3, Chapter 10: Battle of Beacon, the Alpha is just like a normal Beowolf; however, they are the leader of the Beowolf Pack. They are strong enough to shred through the state of the art Atlesian Knights. The only reason it was stopped was because of General Ironwood killed it in the Amity Colosseum.

            The fourteenth Grimm we see is the Wyvern. Seen bursting out of Mountain Glenn in Volume 3, Chapter 10: Battle of Beacon. This monstrosity gets its namesake from wyverns, which are like dragons, but instead for four legs, they have two. One thing that makes this Wyvern terrifying is their ability. Along with flying, it drips black ooze that gives birth to more Grimm. Perhaps this is why Mountain Glenn fell, because more Grimm kept coming more than the Huntsmen and Huntresses could kill.

            The fifteenth Grimm we see is in the RWBY video game, RWBY: Grimm Eclipse. This is the Alpha Creep. There is nothing very impressive about these stronger Creeps. In fact, that’s their most impressive thing, that they are stronger than the average Creep.

           The sixteenth Grimm we also see in the RWBY video game, RWBY: Grimm Eclipse. This is the variant of the Creeps; these are the Mutant Creeps. Unlike their natural counterpart, these have green claws and green accents on them and unleash a powerful explosion upon its death. These were created by Doctor Merlot. Merlot mutated Grimm to make them even more deadly to get back at Ozpin and the people who doubted his vision. They could also be a reference to Creepers in the game Minecraft.

            The seventeenth Grimm we see is another mutant in RWBY: Grimm Eclipse. If it could not get even deadlier, Merlot decided to create a Mutant Alpha Beowolves. These beasts are powerful. They have strong claws, they are fast, and they can summon crystal-like spikes a decent distance. These Grimm are not complete overkill, luckily for Team RWBY.

            The eighteenth Grimm we see in Grimm Eclipse is a variant of the Death Stalker. This is the Giant Mutant Death Stalker and just like the Mutant Alpha Beowolf it is more deadly than its unmutated verity. This has the abilities of the normal Death Stalkers, burrowing, powerful pincers, and a deadly stinger. The Mutant Death Stalker has the ability to launch its poison from its tail like a volley of arrows. This is Doctor Merlot’s greatest and most powerful mutant.

            The nineteenth Grimm we see does not have a have a name but Doctor Oobleck, in the RWBY manga, written by Shirow Miwa, compares it to a parasite so that it what I will call it. This Parasite Grimm looks like the head of Cthulhu and has the unique ability to fuse Grimm together. It fuses four King Taijitu into a creature called a Yamata no Orochi, more on it later. From my knowledge, this has only seen once.

            The twentieth Grimm is an Orochi. This, as stated before, was the result of the Parasite Grimm fusing four King Taijitu. Now the Yamata no Orochi is part of Japanese mythology. Its name translates roughly to Giant Eight Branched Snake. The Orochi was a problem for the Izumo Province (modern day Shimane Prefecture), because it ate a girl every year. Now, this beast was defeated by Susa-no-O, but the story if its defeat is another story.

            The twenty-first Grimm is the Beringel. This Grimm was first seen in the Volume 4 Character Short. This Grimm is honestly seen as more intelligent than others. In the short, it throws an Alpha Beowolf at Ruby. Its name is most likely from the scientific name of the Eastern Gorilla, Gorilla beringei.

            The twenty-second Grimm is a Petra Gigas. It first appeared in Volume 4, Episode 1: The Next Step. The Petra Gigas, much like the Arma Gigas, is just a Geist possessing boulders. Petra is Greek for stone. So, its name means stone giant. Now this to me sounds like modern golems since the original golem were made from clay.

            The twenty-third Grimm is the Geist. The Geist also appeared in Volume 4, Episode 1: The Next Step. Geists can possess any inanimate object, seen in the Arma Gigas and the Petra Gigas. Now, Geists get their name from a paranormal classification for a ghost: Poltergeist. The difference between a say a black shadow variety of ghost and a poltergeist is that poltergeist can interact with physical objects, like throwing a glass or pushing a chair. Much like how Geists can possess inanimate objects.

            The twenty-fourth Grimm is the Sea Feilong. This Grimm is a sea dragon that breathes lightning. Its first appearance is in Volume 4, Chapter 3: Of Runaways and Stowaways. Though it lives in the sea, it does have wings that allows it to fly. Fēilóng, in Chinese, means flying dragon.

            The twenty-fifth Grimm is the Nuckelavee. We see this Grimm fully in Volume 4, Chapter 11: Taking Control. This Grimm is the exact same one that killed Lie Ren’s father. This Grimm, before this episode was seen in a silhouette. What makes this Grimm interesting is that it is not just one Grimm, it is actually two Grimm: the horse and the “human’s” upper half upon the horse’s back (which is called an Imp). The Nuckelavee is based on a creature sharing the same name. It is a demon from Orcadian mythology. Orcadians are the people living on the Orkney islands of Scotland. The folklore Nuckelavee was said to be able to ruin crops in the fields, and ruin entire villages. The Nuckelavee Grimm effectively did the exact same thing in Kuroyuri.

            The twenty-six Grimm we witness is the Seer. We see the Seer in Volume 5, Chapter 2: Dread in the Air. The Seer is Salem’s crystal ball and is in fact what they are based on. The Seer can best be described as a jellyfish and they can use their tentacles to attack, although they are not made for combat. We have only seen one attack and that was against Lionheart when Salem had no more use for him. Seers work as Salem’s version of a Scroll as it seems.

            The twenty-seventh Grimm is the Lancers. We see them for the first time in the same episode as the Seer. Lancers are like our modern bees; however, they are much worse. Their stingers are like rope darts that can pierce metal and a handful of Lancers can rip an airship in half. The World of RWBY: The Official Companion called them “Warrior Drones”.

            The twenty-eighth Grimm is bigger than the average lancer, and that is the Queen Lancer. The Queen Lancer is roughly the size of an Atlesian cargo ship. Queen Lancers, much like Queen Bees or Queen Ants produce children, so does a Queen Lancer. In Amity Arena this is the Queen Lancer’s strengths. It summons two Lancers every nine seconds, and upon its death four more Lancers appear.

            The twenty-ninth Grimm is the Ravager. Ravagers are bat-like Grimm found in Amity Area and After the Fall. What makes it interesting is that this Grimm was revealed in Amity Arena before After the Fall was published. When there is only one, or at least in Amity Arena, the one cannot do much damage. However, their strength comes when there is a whole group of them. They are a literal death by a thousand cuts. They do not much damage, however they are fast. There is a culture that reveres bats, that is the Mayans. The Mayans had a deity called Camazotz. Camazotz name translates to “death bat” which would also fit the Ravagers

            The thirtieth Grimm is found only in the RWBY novel, After the Fall (written by E.C. Myers). This is the Dromedon. It is a camel that spits venom at whoever it is attacking. Now, there is some folklore about camels, however it is mainly about how important they are. Like with the Kazak people who even have a folk song called “white female camel”.

            The thirty-first Grimm is the Jackalope. Also found in the novel After the Fall. The jackalope is part of American folklore. It is said to be a jackrabbit with antelope horns, therefore, jackalope. The Grimm jackalope are a lot nastier than the folklore ones. They attack with their horns and their powerful hind legs.

            The thirty-second Grimm is the Ziraph is from After the Fall. It is a three headed giraffe that is five stories tall and use their tongues to capture people and swallow them whole. At first glance, there may not be any culture in this one. After all, some monsters are just that, monsters. However, this bit of culture is found in its own name. Ziraph is actually a Middle English spelling of giraffe.

            The thirty-third Grimm is the Blind Worm, from After the Fall. This has a few abilities, but the one that I think highlights what it is based on is its ability to spit acid. Let me introduce to you the Mongolian Death Worm (often just shortened to Death Worm). The Death Worm supposedly lives in Gobi Desert. It came to public attention thanks to the book, On the Trail of Ancient Man written by Roy Chapman Andrews in 1926. One thing the Blind Worm and the Death Worm have in common is that acidic spit I mentioned and their habitats. Team CFVY encounter it in Vacuo, a kingdom that is primarily dessert. However, the Death Worm most likely could not swallow a human whole. Stated by Andrews himself, “It is shaped like a sausage about two feet long, has no head nor leg and it is so poisonous that merely to touch it means instant death. It lives in the most desolate parts of the Gobi Desert.”

            The thirty-fourth Grimm is the Manticore. First appearing in Volume 6, Chapter 1: Argus Limited. These flying atrocities are lion like Grimm, with scorpion tails and horns, can fly, and can breathe fire. It shares its name to what they are based on, the Manticore from Greek Mythology. In Greek mythology they are basically the exact same, minus the red, white, black, and yellow color scheme.

            The thirty-fifth Grimm is the Sphinx. Also appearing in Volume 6, Chapter 1: Argus Limited, they share their name with what they are based on, the Sphinx. In mythology the Sphinx was said to have a lioness body and the head of a beautiful woman and would speak in riddles. Solve the riddle, you live, answer incorrectly you die. The Grimm Sphinx has none of the elegance and riddles. It will just straight up kill you. They are a winged lioness with a viper as a tail.

            The thirty-sixth Grimm is the Apathy. They are first seen in Volume 6, Chapter 6: Alone in the Woods. The Apathy are not strong, they are not even fast. What they lack physically they make up for emotionally. They slowly drain all emotion both negative and all positive, until the target feels absolutely nothing. The target becomes apathetic and therefore easy to kill. In the mobile game Amity Arena, we see they have the ability to summon another one. Two Apathy can become four, four can become eight, eight can become sixteen and so on. These Grimm look like living skeletons, a walking corpse. I believe these are based on the original vampires. It is easy the associate vampires with being handsome and charming. You can thank the Twilight series and even Bela Lugosi, the actor who played Count Dracula in Universal’s Dracula in 1931. The original vampires were walking corpses that would drink the blood of unsuspecting people. They did not charm their way in, in fact they could not. They were not strong, they were not even fast, but they could drain a human body dry leaving the body as a husk. Where does that sound familiar?

            The thirty-seventh Grimm is the Leviathan. It is first seen in Volume 6, Chapter 12: Seeing Red. The Leviathan is based on the creature if the same name from the Judeo-Christian faith. Both Leviathans come from the sea, however the Judeo-Christian one is more akin to a dragon rather than the Grimm one who looks like a dolphin who lives at the gym that also breathes fire.

            The thirty-eighth Grimm is one we see getting created before our very eyes. In Volume 6, Chapter 13: Our Way, we see for the first time the Winged Beringel. This Grimm is based off the Winged Monkeys in The Wizard of Oz. In the movie, the Winged Monkeys follow the direction of the Wicked Witch of the West to apprehend Dorothy to get the Ruby Slippers. If RWBY has proven to us anything, it is that Salem is their Wicked Witch. Not only did she create the Winged Beringels, but her name comes from the town of Salem, Massachusetts where the notorious Salem Witch Trials happened.

            The thirty-nineth Grimm is the Ice Sabyr. First seen in Volume 7, Chapter 1: The Greatest Kingdom, these Grimm are older than some. Getting their reference from saber-tooth tigers, these Grimm partially covered with ice thanks to Atlas’ cold climate. They attack primarily with claws and their very sharp canine teeth.

            The fortieth Grimm is the Centinals. First seen in Volume 7, Ace Operatives, these centipede like Grimm burrow underground to get the jump on unsuspecting victims. Their mandibles can form a shape like the head of a spear or the point of an arrow. What makes this worse is that it can rotate is different sections much like a drill. This is also how they attack, the launch themselves towards their target at attempt to drill right through them. They also get their name from the word “Sentinel” which is a soldier or guard whose job is to keep watch.

            The forty-first Grimm is what I like to refer to as the Dust Gigas. First seen in Volume 7, Chapter 3: Ace Operatives as well, much like the Petra Gigas and the Arma Gigas, this too is caused by a Geist possessing rocks. However, these rocks are ice covered, and it decided to add Dust to itself. This makes it very difficult of it to be taken down, for if the Geist loses possession of the boulders and just, the Dust can fall, hit the ground and create an explosion.

            The forty-second Grimm is the Megoliath. First seen in Volume 7, Chapter 9: As Above, So Below, these Grimm bare quite the resemblance to the Goliath and that is because there should be. In its unit card in Amity Arena it states quote “Much like its cousin, the Goliath in Vale, these ancient Grimm are intelligent, powerful, but Mantle has given it one more quality…resilience.” These Grimm are based on Wooly Mammoths from the Ice Age.

            The forty-third Grimm is the Teryx. This Grimm also first seen in Volume 7, Chapter 9: As Above, So Below. These Grimm are raptors with wings basically. They can successfully attack Atlas grade ships with their claws, and they can also bite. Their name is Greek for feather or wing, a reference to their ability to fly.

            The last and forty-fourth Grimm is the Flying Whale. First seen in Volume 7, Chapter 13: The Enemy of Trust.The Flying Whale is basically an anomaly at this point. There are only a few things we know about it. 1.) It can fly. 2.) It is massive. 3.) Salem herself is riding it. Now, the cultural question is this: What whale is it based on? There are three whales that come to mind: Moby Dick the white whale from Moby Dick, the Whale from Jonah, and the Whale, and finally, Monstro from Pinocchio. If I had to take a guess, I would say Monstro. My reasoning is this, we already have someone based on Pinocchio and his father Geppetto. It would only make sense to have the whale from there too.

            In closing, I want to say this. This will eventually be out of date. RWBY is ever expanding. On August 15th of this year, Rooster Teeth will premiere a new show for First members called RWBY: The Grimm Campaign which will be a RWBY tabletop role-playing game, like Dungeons and Dragons. All that we know so far about it is that it takes place in Mistral, however it is uncertain if any new Grimm will appear. The same thing could be said for E. C. Myers’s next RWBY novel, Fairy Tales of Remnant, which is set to release September 3rd of this year as well. Also, let’s not forget about the anticipated Volume 8. The world of Remnant is ever growing, and I think that is a wonderful thing. With Remnant growing, it allows for more stories for Rooster Teeth to tell.

Shadowed Flames: PTSD in RWBY Part 5

Disclaimer: These articles contain in-depth discussion on the topics of mental health/illness and topics such as abuse. 

The writer is also not a trained nor certified therapist. However, they have been writing for twenty years with a heavy focus on correct, realistic portrayals of mental health. They have studied PTSD and C-PTSD in depth and speak from personal experience. Of course, they only speak from one point of view as PTSD symptoms and experiences are unique to each and every person. This is done from a clinical viewpoint, using sourced academic literature.

More technical jargon (namely the actual list of symptoms) will be given in more everyday language when and where possible.

Let me just throw the criteria up and then talk about what all of it means first.

D. Negative changes in perceptions and mood associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the trauma occurred (two or more needed):

    1. Inability to remember important aspect(s) of the event(s), typically associated with dissociative amnesia and not related to drugs, alcohol, or head injury

    2. Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g., “I am bad,” “No one can be trusted,” ‘The world is completely dangerous,” “My whole nervous system is permanently ruined”).

3. Persistent and distorted thoughts about the cause or consequences of the traumatic event(s) that lead to the individual to blame themselves or others

4. Persistent negative emotional state (eg, fear, horror, anger, guilt, shame)

5. Noticeable decreased interest or participation in significant activities (ie, socialising, hobbies, etc)

6. Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others 

7. Consistently unable to experience positive emotions (ie, happiness, satisfaction, or love)

So now we’re starting on the changes PTSD makes to one’s perception of reality and mood and we’re moving into the more subtle stuff. This is where many portrayals of PTSD fall apart due to failing to understand these.

As I stated in the primer article, PTSD twists your perception of reality and isn’t just “LOUD NOISE = FLASHBACK.” It’s this set of criteria as well as the next one that really showcase it. 

However, I will admit that this is where things will also get…tricky to try to point to. These are all internal changes in thought process and perceptions. In a visual series like RWBY, it makes it difficult to see these internal changes.

I feel like the three I can point to for pretty sure are D4/D7 and D6. 

So persistent negative emotional state is…very straightforward and we see it pretty well in V4 C3 “Of Runaways and Stowaways.”

The entire beginning of her introduction is literally nothing but a negative mood.

[Image source]
[Image description: Yang watching TV in the center of the frame on the couch. This is the first time we see her after the 6-8 month time skip in V4]

She’s completely impassive while watching the news.

[Image source]
[Image description: Close up on Yang’s face while she’s sitting on the couch but she has her head tilted over the back to look at Taiyang upside down.]

The greeting she gives Taiyang is extremely listless and not at all what you’d expect from her. She just tilts her head back and says “Hi Dad” in a relative monotone. 

The fact of the matter is that’s also implied to have been her mood basically since she did start to feel “better.” 

The end of V3 had Team RNJR leaving during the winter. 

[Image source]
[Image description: End of Volume 3. Ruby is off to the extreme left of the frame to look over her shoulder, taking up about a fourth of the screen in the foreground. From left to right: Ren, Jaune, Nora wait for her in the background in a snowy forest scene]

When Yang goes outside to get the mail, it’s obviously well into spring, if not into summer.

[Image source]
[Image description: Yang at the beginning of V4 getting the mail. She checks the mailbox with her left hand while tucking the letters under the remains of her right arm.]

I’m gonna combine D7 with this because they’re pretty related with one major example.

[Image description: Taiyang’s kitchen. Port and Oobleck sit at the table in the foreground with Port close on the left, Oobleck a little further in on the right. Taiyang is toward the center leaning against the counter. Yang in the center in her V4 attire. Subtitle says, “But…this is normal now.”]

In V4 C4, “Family,” Yang admits to her arm missing as being normal now, but there can also be deeper implications. 

This is how people with mental illness often talk. Once they’ve been in a low enough state, they’ll often just accept the fact there’s no such thing as ‘getting better.’ They’re willing to just accept the fact that their new circumstances are how things will always be from then on. A lot of people aren’t willing to fight or make efforts to get better.

Don’t think I’m talking down to people with mental illness. As I’ve said before, I have PTSD and C-PTSD. I also have severe anxiety and depression which is a pretty ugly cocktail. It’s not the fault of the people who have mental illness as it’s simply their brain’s reaction to the environment. 

What I’m getting at is that people just see it as safer to stay where they are. They’ve come to know the darkness of their mind and they’re afraid to leave.

Yang herself admits to it just a few seconds before.

[Image description: Taiyang’s kitchen. Port and Oobleck sit at the table in the foreground with Port close on the left, Oobleck a little further in on the right. Taiyang is toward the center leaning against the counter. Yang in the center in her V4 attire. Subtitle says, “Yang: I’m…scared.”]

She’s gotten used to the feeling of just being flat and not doing much in life now. Her world has become a lot smaller, relegated mainly to the house on Patch. It’s no longer the entire city of Vale, let alone her ambitions of becoming a Huntress. When things have become routine and predictable without much upheaval, it just feels better. 

That’s honestly what the entire dream sequence earlier in the episode was about.

It honestly wasn’t so much about Adam and being unable to defend herself; it was more about her fear of what will happen if she tries again. By putting on the arm, she’s saying she’s willing to take the first step toward leaving what has become safe for her. 

This is what these two criteria are getting at especially when combined. 

As this scene shows on its own, Yang is capable of experiencing positive emotions. She’s laughing and teasing with her dad. She’s able to joke around, laugh, and have fun.

[Image source]
[Image description: Taiyang sats on the far left, Yang stands to his right with both leaning against the counter., Oobleck sits near her at the table and Port sits across the table from him. Taiyang and Yang are laughing.]

People with mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD can have good days and bad days. They can still have fun and act like neurotypical people. Just because they don’t “look” like they’re suffering from their conditions doesn’t mean they don’t still have them. And they can go into periods of remission before it comes crashing down over them again.

You can still experience good feelings, but it’s difficult to do so and especially sustain them. 

Well, join me next time when we tackle D6 and (probably) move onto Set E.

Sources: 

Ciccarelli, S. K., & Noland, J. (2014). Psychology : DSM 5. Pearson.

An Honest RWBY ComicCon @Home Reaction

Wednesday to Sunday of last week was filled with news of all kinds for geeks of all background. I didn’t really look at any of the programming personally aside from the RoosterTeeth panel on Saturday and 4PM EST. Even then, I skipped over about 80% of it. The panel included information about an upcoming Transformers series as well as stuff about the new Red versus Blue one. 

The RWBY portion was hyped up and it was…severely underwhelming. It was about the last 10ish minutes of the 40-minute pre-recorded panel. 

The first bit of news was them pairing with artist Babs Tar for new merch. 

I’ve seen some people say they think the art style is weird and offputting and I can’t blame them. We haven’t really seen the girls drawn like this in an official capacity. I don’t think it necessarily works with Ruby and Blake in terms of facial structure, but I think it looks fine for Yang and Weiss looks just fantastic in this drawing. I think the style is supposed to be somewhat reminiscent of fashion drawings. The long, thin limbs and the very exaggerated curves for hourglass figures… That’s what it makes me think of. 

Honestly, I do love Weiss in this drawing… I mean she’s best girl so it’s no surprise. But this honestly what I think she’d wear in some sort of modern college AU or something at least early out of Schnee manor. It’s just so bougie and stylish that it feels like it just hits the nail on the head.

The others are just ‘eh’ to me. 

Of course, the next piece of information was what we were ALL waiting for: VOLUME 7 SOUNDTRACK ON THE 31ST!!!

Like everybody else, I was screaming over that. We’ve all been waiting for it for what feels like an eternity at this point. 

One of my predictions was proven right about the track listing after it showed up on Google Play for preorder: we heard all the vocal tracks during the volume. After the volume ended, I counted up all the tracks and realised there were nine. Sometimes they can slip in another track they didn’t play during the episodes. But 7-9 tends to be the number of tracks per volume. It was a little saddening to know there’s nothing new new, but it was expected.

I May Fall acoustic though? YES PLEASE.


I don’t care a whole lot about the remixes. That sort of thing just isn’t my personal cup of tea.

I just can’t wait to see where these songs personally fall on my list… 

The next piece of news was they’re partnering with GoodSmile for more toy/figurine merch. It’s…It’s exactly what it says on the tin. I don’t have anything to comment on since I’m not much of a figurine person. If I were, I’d probably be off the walls. But I’m not. 

The next bit was some Q&A about RWBY in general. 

The main point that caught people’s attention was Barb’s summation of V8. Of course, nothing was given away, but the theme of the volume is “distrust.” 

Now that is extremely interesting considering the theme of V7 was trust. I mean the theme song is called “Trust Love” for god’s sake… 

“I feel like, especially with Yang, I feel like an overall theme is just because you like someone and respect someone or is close to them doesn’t necessarily mean you have to agree with everything they do or say.”

Hm.

It’ll be interesting to see where that goes.

The last big bit of excitement was the 30 second teaser clip which was so much fun to watch. It was just them screwing around on hoverbikes. 

And Yang was adorable of course.

It does raise a lot of questions about the end of V7 and why things aren’t as grim (hah) as they should be. Even in a dark situation, it doesn’t mean it has to be grizzly all the time. You can still have levity and, frankly, you need it to balance things out. Being dark and hard all the time honestly just wears people out. I remember there’s a season of Supernatural which is the literal apocalypse happening. I got some serious arc fatigue because it just went on too long and just because things were grim so much. 

Of course, it also raises questions for the context of this and a ton of others. Where are the others? Why is Yang only with the boys? How did Oscar get back with them? Where are they in Mantle? Why do they have hoverbikes? Were they gifted or are they being stolen?

I’m sure we’ll get these answers in V8. 

The thing that makes me go “guys, what are you thinking” is the fact that they’re doing all of this in public. And they have an arrest warrant out for them. 

But, again, we lack the full context so who knows what’s going on. 

So yeah, this bit of news was pretty underwhelming, but there was still some good stuff in there!