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A Review of RWBY Volume 8 [Spoilers]

With Volume 8 of RWBY wrapped up last week, I now share my thoughts with certainty about my feelings. As mentioned in the title of this article, there will be spoilers ranging from the beginning of this Volume, to the finale of this Volume.

Overview

RWBY Volume 8 was honestly one of my favorites, easily in my top three. Now, were there thing in the Volume that I did not care for? Of course. You cannot create the perfect show that everybody loves. The way I see this is it was like asking for chocolate ice cream, but getting vanilla. It’s not what I was expecting, however I still like vanilla ice cream and chocolate is a nice surprise. If there is one phrase I said to myself while watching this Volume it was ‘I did NOT see that coming!’. The characters were great for the most part, same goes with the fight scenes. The three things I say were the best part of the Volume was the new Grimm, the music, and the plot.

The Characters

The Characters in Volume 8 were great for the most part. Let’s get certain character out of the way first: General James Ironwood. Personally, I did not care for Volume 8 Ironwood. However I cared about Volume 7 Ironwood. The difference between them was that Volume 7 Ironwood looked like a morally grey character. Volume 8 Ironwood is a straight up villain that we really aren’t supposed to like. In Volume 7, Ironwood had a heart. In Volume 8, he threw that heart away when he killed that Councilman in cold blood. Personally, I love morally grey characters. Characters that even the characters in the show don’t know what to think of them. Here’s some good news though, that’s my only character gripe! The main cast is good, the Happy Huntresses I grew to enjoy, the villains were great. I even enjoyed the Ace-Ops. The spirit inside the Relic of Creation, Ambrosius, is one of my favorite new characters. I love how his personality seems to be more lacks then Jinn.

The Fight Scenes

The fight scenes in the Volume were so well choreographed. To be honest, my favorite fight is a tie between Hazel vs Salem and Cinder and Neo vs Team RWBY and Penny. Hazel vs Salem was a fight scene where I knew the inevitable result, but I still cared and got invested into. I knew Hazel wouldn’t make it out alive, but I still hoped that it would give the team in the whale enough time to escape. It wasn’t a fight to win, but a fight to stall Salem enough, and I loved that. While the Cinder and Neo vs Team RWBY and Penny was flashy and I loved every minute of it.

The New Grimm

Ok, I’m going to say it, The Hound scares me. The Hound was strong, smart, fast, and overall just superior in every way except looks. Then there’s the Centaur, which has to be the ugliest Grimm and it spits acid and has scythe talons. I love these Grimm and I do not want them anywhere near me, my house or anyone I know. Rooster Teeth has been on the ball with Grimm designs ever since the first Beowolf showed up.

The Music

What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Jeff Williams and Casey Lee Williams ALWAYS have good songs for RWBY. There are songs that hype me up, songs that made cry, songs that STILL make me cry. Personally, I don’t think there is one song that they have written that I don’t like.

The Plot

This Volume was set over two days and those two days were stressful to watch. From Salem’s arrival to Ironwood getting ready to bomb Mantle. At no part was I NOT on the edge of my seat. I enjoyed every second of seeing the story unfold.

In Conclusion

Personally, if I was using a star system of rating, I’d give Volume 8: 4.5/5. For the most part, it was amazing, but there were a few things that I thought held it back.

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.

A Sister’s Review of Yang vs Ruby – RWBY Volume 8 Chapter 1

Sisters fight.

Siblings fight.

No matter how you take it, family fights. The closer you are to someone the more likely you are to have disagreements and fight. Comfort is both a blessing and a curse.

After reacting to the chapter, I’ll be talking about RWBY Volume 8, Chapter 1. The fight between Ruby and Yang represents many things. It represents how, well, sisters fight, but also that these two characters are on the path to their own character development.

While some people have stated they are upset or tired of Yang acting on her emotions here is my stance on that. Yang has suffered from PTSD, lost her arm, for a moment lost trust, lost her strength, and has been known to act on her emotions from the beginning of the series. Yang is a young adult, a time where everything is complicated. Hell, it’s complicated being a young adult but also in a time where there is a legit war going on. This is a huge moment for Yang and a time for her to explore her own independence and weaknesses.

The fight between her and Ruby shows us that both sides have flaws, and with those flaws, they are able to “act”. While Yang has to overcome acting on her emotions and rage overall, Ruby also has to form leadership for herself. Ruby has shown leadership before, but now is the time to prove what that leader role means to her. To show us all how she is growing up. To show us how these sisters will act on their own beliefs and morals.

Personally, I think people tend to forget that RWBY is a young adult story. These are teenagers growing up. Growing pains will happen. Things will be dark and complex. It’s a story of not just cool adventures and straightforward problem-solving. RWBY is complex BECAUSE the characters are growing up in a time of war.

While this is just my opinion, I believe the fight between Ruby and Yang was natural and NEEDED. I am the eldest sister of two younger sisters. As the firstborn many people can relate that being the first is sometimes not the best. You are the one who makes a lot of strange decisions. You’re the one who doesn’t have a foundation of what a “sibling” acts like. You also can’t base your decisions on a sibling only your parents/guardians before you. In this notion, Yang is showing this problem. While she is the eldest, she still doesn’t know how to control her emotions. Ruby on the other hand knew how to control her emotions much better than Yang because she can base her own flaws on Yang.

This fight will make the sisters grow with each other based on their own strengths, each finding out who they “truly are”. As cliche as it might sound to go on a journey of self-discovery in a Young Adult series, I think it’s much needed for these girls. These sisters. What are your guys’ thoughts on this?

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.