Hello everyone, CuriousCat-13 here to welcome you to what I like to call “The Shipping Corner.” If you’re part of any fandom, you most likely have come across something called a ship, and I’m not talking about the type of vessel that would be used to travel across bodies of water. If you’re not familiar with the term, I’ll give you a quick nutshell explanation. Shipping is basically where you like the idea of two characters being in some type of relationship, the vast majority of the time it’s the idea of them being in a romantic relationship, which leads to some kind of clever name of the ship or pairing.
Some ships can be taken as a small sip of water, however…there are times where a large group ends up chugging an Olympic swimming pool amount of that water, which can lead to another term: Shipping Wars, and this is where things can get very toxic within any fandom. That is where this article comes in play, for me to give a few words of wisdom on how to ship in a healthier manner; not just as a shipper, but someone who is part of a number of fandoms that have become toxic due to shipping. This isn’t me telling you how to ship and who you can and can’t ship, I’m just giving words of advice to help you with shipping and show a more positive side of shippers (for those that don’t ship).
One of the first steps of healthy shipping is asking yourself why you ship these two characters. What made you start shipping them and what kind of future do you picture them having? Is it the way they interact with each other, their chemistry? Or is it because everyone else ships them and because of that pressure you feel like it’s mandatory to skydive onto the shipping bandwagon to be a “true member” of the fandom.
Let me tell you this, just because a bunch of other people ship a certain pair, it doesn’t mean that you have to. Ship whomever you want to, but a the same time, find the reason why. I’ll use one of the most shipped ships out there as an example: Destiel, which is Castiel and Dean from the show (that is sadly on its last season) Supernatural. When I first shipped them, it was mainly because a huge part of the fandom shipped them. Now? I ship them because of how they interact with each other (chemistry), how they look at each other when the other isn’t looking at them, how they react when something bad happens to them (life is at stake or one of them isn’t acting the way they usually do), the sacrifices they made for each other; these are big examples of why I ship them and what I look for when I ship other characters. So try to observe and find various reasons to ship your ship, use what makes a relationship healthy to strengthen your reasoning.
The next big step when it comes to being a healthy shipper is being respectful of what everyone’s ships are. Everyone ships in a different way and has their own tastes, so just be respectful of their opinions; in other words, avoid starting or getting involved with Shipping Wars. Shipping Wars are one of the main causes of gigantic divisions between fans and can lead to extremely devastating outcomes (cyberbullying is a big one); this where numerous fans argue over which ship is better than another, particularly who a certain character is best paired up with.
For those that are in the RWBY community, you know full well about this mess that is going on within the community, especially when I mention these two ships: BlackSun/Eclipse and Bumbleby (pronounced bumblebee). For some reason, when it comes to the shippers in the (or even a non-shipper) RWBY fandom you have to either be a BlackSun shipper or a Bumbleby shipper, liking both seems to be an impossibility; don’t get me wrong there are people who ship either and are respectable with choosing an alternative, but this Shipping War is one of the big reasons why people drop the series. So to summarize this paragraph…just be a decent human being and respect what other people ship and/or don’t ship; you don’t have to agree with each other on who you ship, but just try to respect everyone’s opinion.
Before I wrap this article up with a neat, pink, little bow on top, I’m going to share my final “two cents.” Not everyone is a shipper, I know it may be hard for some to believe this (and I sincerely apologize for the tone you might be reading this part in), but there are members of fandoms that don’t take part in shipping. If you mention any ships that you enjoy to someone and it turns out they don’t do that, please acknowledge their opinion in a mature way and respect it.
I know that I’ve been trying to type this in a more calm, collected manner, but given the severity of this topic, I have to use a more serious tone. Respecting one’s opinion on shipping and the various ships is one of the most important things when it comes to creating a healthy, positive vibe in all fandoms. This also includes the creators of the series and the actors and actresses that play the characters, since maybe a small fraction take part in any shipping, so if you’re at a convention where you get to meet the people that bring your favorites to life….please don’t force your ship or what you think should be down their throats.
I’ve seen too many videos from Supernatural conventions where a number of actors (and actresses) get thoroughly annoyed when fans (that took their shipping of Destiel too far) pester them non-stop about it, thus creating a small rift between them and the fans, not to mention that it can affect how they interact with the friends that they work with in public (i.e. Jensen and Misha).
Another thing to remember is that every member of a fandom, including the shippers, are, in their own way, representing their community. Each and every one of you might be inviting new members to the community, so it’s important to let them take things at their own pace and make their own decisions. You can bring up some of the ships that you enjoy and/or even what is out there, but try to leave it at that in case they are part of the “Not a Shipper” group; remember the important thing to do is respect their choices on whether or not they ship and who they ship (even if you don’t agree with them).
Now that we’ve gone through all the major points in quite an amount of detail and made it to the end, let’s do a quick recap on how to ship in a healthy way.
If you follow these steps bit by bit, it not only can help you find a new, healthier way to enjoy shipping, but it will also help improve the interactions between members of the fandom(s); so practice these three steps and ship on!
As far as setup episodes go, this one is also actually a pretty solid episode on its own. It has a lot of good if small character moments. The comedy, in the beginning, is also a welcome breather before things start to get extremely serious.
One of my favorite comedy bits was at the beginning with Weiss’ frankly horrible acting. It’s nothing super deep, but it’s just a fun little scene. Her tone at the beginning isn’t too bad, but her body language and expressions just get so laughably obvious that it speaks to just how utterly incompetent Cordovin and her guards are.
The little nod to Blake’s history with the White Fang is also a very good touch. It’s not something that’s come up before in the series too much (if at all really), so thinking to take advantage of it is fantastic. It’s something that should be taken into account way more often; it’d be a way of showing us what exactly she did during those years. She’s gotta have a number of accumulated skills even if a lot of them are rusty that could be a huge asset as they fight against Salem. Unfortunately, Volume 7 didn’t show us anything more on this front, so I doubt it’s something that’ll be touched on again.
Perhaps one of the best scenes in the episode is Qrow’s complete and utter freakout over the entire situation once he realises that things are going downhill and fast. It frankly reveals a lot about his character and just how much he blames on himself. Most of what he lists off is something that’s extremely far outside of his control and that his Semblance wouldn’t have any sort of bearing on. It’s…honestly pretty sad to see how much he hates himself. Of course, he is in a pretty dark place at the moment due to the entire Ozpin reveal, but even so, it’s just upsetting to see the man so down on himself.
Of course, it’s followed up by Ruby giving a Power of Friendship Speech™ to Qrow which pulls him out of his thoughts. But there is one moment in particular that stands out in it.
This is such an excellent moment of show, don’t tell especially as far as RWBY goes. Without him saying anything, you can just see the gears in his head turning. He’s starting to realise that Ruby’s not just a helpless little girl anymore, but a young woman on the road to becoming a full-fledged Huntress, wise beyond her years.
It’s likely that he’s also remembering Summer and how she sounded. Going back to V5 C11 “The More the Merrier,” we see Ruby give a similar talk to Raven and her expression is very similar to Qrow’s right before she says “You sound just like your mother.”
And, of course, the episode ends with Blake fighting Adam and it’s a pretty strong character moment for her. Even though she’s visibly frightened, she’s not backing down.
“Let go of the past, Adam. Do it for yourself.”
Of course, he’s a complete creep about it.
It shows just how far she’s come since the likes of Volume 2 in Mountain Glenn when she said she was somebody that just ran away from her problems.
All in all, it’s a solid episode on its own and a very good way to set up the rest of the volume’s finale.
The episode starts off with Weiss questioning Ruby on wanting to go to battle between Cordovin in her massive mech suit and Team RWBY along with, Oscar, Qrow, Team JNR and Maria in a battle to stop Cordovin from preventing the entire team from getting to Atlas. I think it’s safe to say that we all thought Cordovin was basically power hungry in bringing out the shell of Megatron to take out an entire squadron of huntsman and huntresses.
And knowing Ruby, she fights it anyways.
The first shot was fired by Cordovin by launching a missile to the airship, which was shot down by Ruby, and Cordovin retaliated by firing what seems like an ice cannon which Weiss came in to block the shot from the entire team.
Jaune decides the best option is to distract Cordovin as long as possible until Yang comes back from checking on Blake, who is now in a battle with Adam. This battle against Cordovin would go on for the majority of the episode with close calls and plot progression that would continue on in the next episode, as the battle for this episode would end with the airship getting caught in the crossfire of battle and was going down after a missile that was fired from the ship was tossed back to them and it seemed like the ship was going down.
After that scene, it cuts to Adam and Blake having a battle in the woods with Blake mostly going in retreat to the point where he says “can you do anything besides run?” A bit ironic given Adam runs away from the truth.
What we thought was a possible scare in the fight where Adam swung his blade and probably cut off a limb was luckily just him cutting off Blake’s jacket and the fight would resume. This fight would reach its endpoint with Adam launching a barrage of hits, while calling Blake selfish and a coward in the process, but Blake spits back by calling Adam delusional, with him retaliating with a swing that broke Blake’s weapon. We then see Adam taking off his blindfold with him revealing a branding he got from the Schnee Dust Company firmly in his left eye, with it being permanently damaged from it.
Firstly, that’s a brand deal taken way too literally, and secondly, I honestly did think Adam was blind this entire time until this point of the show.
Adam goes on with one of his monologues of guilt tripping and spite towards Blake for her deciding to part ways with Adam until Blake got assistance from Yang who came in with her motorcycle and it hit Adam, and fell into the river. Adam and Yang goes into a battle of their own briefly in the last minutes of the episode, in a battle that felt like it had been building up since Adam cut Yang’s arm off in the third volume, with the episode ending with Blake and Yang together as one, ready to go into the final battle with Adam.
Both battles melded well into the next episode in what would be the episode that got everyone talking about the events within the episode.
As far as this episode goes, it’s a little hard to write too much in depth on it. It’s almost all action, wrapping up what Chapter 11 started. Fight choreography isn’t my strong suit, so it’s hard for me to comment on it.
The first half is just the Cordovin vs Ruby, Qrow, JNR, Oscar, and Maria fight and winning it.
However, there is a pretty good if brief moment to touch on here between Ruby and Qrow.
Qrow can tell what Ruby’s about to do as she walks toward the edge of the cliff and catches her hand to try to stop her.
She asks him to trust her and the look he gives her is just utterly heartbreaking.
You can tell just how much he doesn’t want to. He’s slipped back into protective uncle mode, trying to protect the little girl he loves so much. His little speech back in Chapter 10 didn’t help matters either. With as much as he blamed himself for, it’s not hard to imagine that he’s feeling like he’d be letting her walk to her death if she goes through with it.
But, of course, it’s Ruby, so she goes anyway.
The main body of this episode comes in the latter half with Adam and Blake vs Yang.
There is a lot that can be analyzed in what Adam says and does in order to manipulate the fight. This is just a brief episode review, though, so I won’t go into great depth with it outside of one moment.
After a combined attack, Blake gets thrown off the cliff and her aura breaks, leaving Yang alone with Adam. He sees Yang’s desperation and goes for what he’ll know will likely stop her in her tracks.
So, of course, her hand starts to shake badly since he purposely hit one of her triggers. (In this context, trigger is being used in a clinical way, not online vernacular. It means a reaction to an external stimulus that causes a reaction. Within the context of PTSD, it causes an emotional and/or physical response to a reminder of something that specifically resembles the traumatic event(s).)
It really does show Adam’s colors as a manipulator.
And it’s Yang, so she does manage to push past it and fight him by herself.
I’d be remiss to not mention the moment she uses her Semblance and just the crowning moment of awesome that’s capped off by the arrangement of Armed and Ready in the background when she catches his sword.
And then there is the elephant in the room: Adam’s death.
I won’t get into the drama on either side. I have my opinions like anybody else, but this isn’t the place for that. It’s just something I felt needed to at least be acknowledged as that is one of the big things when it comes to this episode.
Going back to just the context of things in-universe, it’s the close of one story and the beginning of another for these two. With Adam gone, they no longer have to fear the threat he poses. They can both begin on their journeys of truly healing for the damage and terror he inflicted on them. His reign of fear has ended, so they can keep moving forward.
The episode then ends with a horde of Grimm flying in, led by the Leviathan. Argus begins scrambling its ships to go destroy it, leading into the volume finale.
Overall, a pretty solid episode especially when strung together with Chapter 11.