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RWBY Volume 6 Chapter 9 was a real tear-jerker. The thing that stuck out most to me was Juane coping with Pyrrha’s death. I think it was pretty clear throughout the first 3 volumes that they loved each other and if it wasn’t clear then, it was certainly made clear that Juane loved her in this episode.
He spends most of the episode deeply saddened and thinking about her and even visits a statue of her made in memory of her, placed where she trained before coming to Beacon no less and he’s seemingly inconsolable for the time being. How many of us can relate to Juane’s struggle with coping with the loss of someone he loved? Most if not all of us have suffered a loss of love at one point or another and no matter how many we lose it never gets easy. Things like:
“She should be standing here!”
“Why was it her that had to die?”
I’m sure many more questions cross his mind. Just as we all do, he goes through the all too human process of doubting, questioning why, feeling despaired and all that loss entails. But when we lose those we love it doesn’t truly have to be the end of them. Sure, they aren’t physically with us anymore but their memory, what they stood for, what they believed in and the impact that had on all they met stay with us.
On top of all these things, since they’re gone any memory of their legacy and the changes they tried to make must come from those they knew, it must come from us. Physical loss doesn’t have to be the end of a bond, all the things mentioned above are what make a bond live on beyond death but we have to choose to face the pain and continue clinging to those memories. And who knows, perhaps there’s a life beyond this one we will meet them in again one day. Will you allow their legacy to be forgotten in time or cling to their memories and build onto that legacy?
RWBY Volume 6 Chapter 8 is a great mix of comedy and drama despite the fact that it starts off with Team RWBY and crew in prison. Qrow keeps his sarcastic and joking demeanor despite being locked up, the Grimm Reaper comically and casually says these people are her enemies despite the fact that she clearly cares at least somewhat for them. The guards are comically aloof. I felt this was nice change of pace from the constant tension of the last few episodes.
We also get a great bonding moment between Reaper and Ruby as Reaper teaches her how to increase her power and tells her the importance of her eyes. Finding good in bad situations was a major theme in this episode I felt. Despite the revelation of Ozpin and Salem being lovers, Salem possibly being justified in her want to bring destruction and being imprisoned they still find the time to learn, joke around and strengthen their bond.
This episode really reiterated that there’s almost always a silver lining, another joke to be made, another important lesson to be learned, another to teach and much more. If there isn’t a clear silver lining to be seen then we can draw one ourselves and if there isn’t any relief to be found, we can rely on the strength of our bonds to be our relief even if the person isn’t physically there.
The bad and stressful situations in our lives can make this silver lining all the more clear and give us perspective. Whether it be that things might not be as bad as we think, or that they are but we can overcome them, the bad parts of our lives shouldn’t be dismissed or hidden but instead learned from. Like how Reaper learned to thrive despite the loss of her eyes, like how Yang learned to live again despite her PTSD and Qrow learned how to be a better leader despite his struggles. You can grow but the question, will you let the pain help you grow?
In RWBY Volume 6 Chapter episode 7 we come to the end of a rather legendary revelation, Maria who’s been helping team RWBY is the legendary and almost mythical Grimm Reaper. I’ll let you guess what her previous occupation probably was.
We start the episode by seeing the Grimm aren’t the only thing she’s good at battling, she also holds her own against quite a few enemies at once. However, this fight ends with her losing her eyes and we learn that the only reason people desire her is for the power of her eyes. This is something I can resonate with deeply and I’m sure many of you can as well.
Many of us have gone through the pain of only being wanted for what we can give at one point or another. For others it’s the opposite, we’re outcasted for what we lack. We can see that the Grimm Reaper hasn’t lived an easy life not only due to her eyes being the cause of a lot of struggle but also losing them and losing presumed fame and possibly fortune she had due to her feats. However, by the time of her appearance in the series we see that not only has she found a way to deal with the loss of her eyes but she starts to form a bond with Team RWBY.
The scars of her past and the pain of her losses start to mend due to this newfound bond, I find that the Grimm Reaper is a shining example of what can happen if we decide to continue on despite our pain and loss. Those things do not have to be the end for us or define us, pain can go away and the void that loss leaves behind can be filled. We can find friendship and bonds but like the Grimm Reaper it’s up to us to make the decision to not give up, no one can make that decision for us. Will we let our circumstances define us or will keep moving forward and find a new definition? Only we as individuals can answer this, what’s your answer?
In RWBY Volume 6 Chapter 6 we see that team RWBY isn’t coping well with recent events, Qrow’s drinking has gotten worse and he’s gotten even more pessimistic than usual, calling everything stupid. Ruby is so tired she can hardly stand and on top of that there are Grimm hidden right under the well beneath them which they later end up having to confront despite how tired they are and their dire circumstances.
Such is life very often for us as well isn’t it? Problem after problem just seems to arise and we can’t catch a break even when we’re already down? The phrase “kicking someone while they’re down” is expressed very vividly in this episode. The unfortunate truth is that often, life doesn’t wait for us to recover from one tragic event before throwing another and another at us but there’s something the Grimm Reaper said that I believe is a great solution to dealing with this. It’s when Ruby is on the ground and she tells her to think about her loved ones instead of her fear of the Grimm in front of her which has the power to drain people’s will to go on.
There’s a profound truth expressed in this statement that thinking about our loved ones, our blessings and the good things in our life can help us continue on when life seems to have drained every ounce of willpower within us. The ultimate force in this world is love and nothing can overpower it if we allow ourselves to be overcome by it. However, in order to be overcome by love and be given strength by it, we have to choose it.
You see love is not just a feeling, it’s a daily choice we must make and choose to cling to so that the misfortunes of this life don’t overcome us in its place. Every day is a choice to let love in or keep it out and let ourselves be void of it and therefore void of the most vital thing to humanity. Some of us always have to fight to get by just as Team RWBY has to do but they have shown us that just as there’s no end to the circumstances life throws at us. There is also no limit to the power of love and if it’s true, no end to the influence of it. So will you choose to overpower the darkness of life with love as Ruby did or will you let life overpower you?
RWBY Volume 6 Chapter 5 is very somber and uncertain in tone and for very good reason. As we found out in the last few episodes, Salem is more of a tragic than we thought and Ozpin isn’t the man he made himself out to be. This harsh revelation takes a heavy toll on team RWBY as expected.
Yang’s PTSD starts to flare up and she hallucinates. Weiss seems somewhat distant and very silent and the team is just very “down” altogether. Also, I’m sure finding two dead bodies in the house you’re trying to hide from a snowstorm doesn’t do much for mentality or team morale either.
There are two themes that really stuck out to me in this episode, friends trying to comfort their loved ones in times of strife and trying to letting what you truly feel come to the surface instead of burying those feelings. First of all, Ruby tries to offer Weiss some relief by telling her that food always helps her, implying that Weiss should eat as well. Ruby isn’t wrong in the sense that they should try to maintain hope but I feel her approach was off which just goes to show how human this show is.
See, even “technically right” solutions can be wrong in specific situations. Instead of trying to convince Weiss to overcome her feelings with optimism and “feel-good feelings” right off the bat, she should have listened to how her friend felt and come up with a solution from there. Not every situation calls for advice or words, sometimes all we need to do is listen and understand. There are some wounds that words can’t heal and in those times we need to love through listening.
As for the second theme, there seems to be a lot of busyness to the point that it seems like they’re trying to stay busy to not confront their feelings as much as they’re trying to stay safe from the storm. But we see a glimpse of how this can affect the mind in Yang. When she tries to bury her pain her mind forces it to the surface in PTSD flashes. Confronting intense feelings is no easy thing but burying it will not only make that pain more painful but make every pain you’ve ever felt re-emerge with all the more intensity. Let this be a reminder to feel your pain, confront it and come to terms with it.
RWBY Volume 6 Chapter 4 starts quite tense. We conclude both the tale of Salem and Ozpin also known as Ozma apparently, and discover how Salem came to be so consumed by evil and that Ozpin was actually Salem’s lover in the past. Naturally, Team RWBY reacts pretty horrified to the revelation that the man they trusted with their lives and loved as their teacher was the lover of the one who’s directly caused so much suffering in the world.
Qrow even goes so far as to punch the man who revealed all this to them but it’s Qrow so nothing surprising there. Something that really stuck out to me is they immediately choose to keep going and try to find a solution, “moved or be damned to die in the cold” as Maria puts it. They also declare to choose the high road and not become like their enemies. Life is all about choosing the high or low road and sometimes we have to make that decision after losing our last iota of hope.
Can you imagine team RWBY’s pain? Having to come to terms with the fact that the man who taught them everything, the man they trusted their lives with is quite literally in love with the enemy? Can you imagine the pain of seemingly losing someone they loved so much? I’d wager that most of you probably can actually. Yet the world doesn’t keep spinning because of our grief and we still must choose whether to become like our enemies in our pain or choose a different path.
Will we become the person we hate most or will we choose a better path and continue staying true to who we are? I’ve come to learn that staying true to who you are in spite of terrible often has more than the one good consequence. Who knows, you might even end up understanding and redeeming your enemy.
So I leave you with this, will you chose Team RWBY’s path and stay true to your morals despite your pain and loss, or choose Salem’s and let it change and consume you? Will you let your anger fuel your desire to do good or bad? Think deeply about these questions and the consequences of your actions during these times.