Considering that RWBY is now a long sprawling series that is going to keep continuing to grow in episode count, I don’t think it’s completely possible to really review RWBY in anyway right now. Especially now in Volume 5 where the characters are well established and are just interacting in volatile or friendly, but interesting ways. The best thing I can do is talk about whether those actions are interesting or boring. I’ve already covered some thoughts about RWBY Volume 1-4 in some other post a few months ago, so this is all about Volume five. This is going to be interesting, because this is the first time I’ve watched RWBY weekly because I watched the other volumes in a much shorter amount of time. So with less further to do, let’s move on to some thoughts. Beware Spoilers!
Let’s start off with something good. Generally, I think that the character interactions in this volume have been good. Not because the dialogue, because there are a lot of cheesy bits of dialogue that are cliched and kind of heroic, but because of the complexity in most of them. There were a high amount of stakes in some of them. Also, a lot of RWBY’s characters personalities were expanded on more than other volumes. Their different perspectives lended something unique to each conversation. All of that was well done done for the most part. Also, Ruby was given a chance to share her points of view of the conflict. The first time we’ve ever heard all that was at the end of Volume 4 when Ruby was writing a letter to her dad and Yang. Ruby always has been a little bit of a joke character or always was the stern “we need to keep going” kind of character. Having her thoughts being heard was completely refreshing. So yes, everything in general was good.
On the other hand, there were too many character interactions and plot discussion scenes. The first half of Volume five was centered around characters talking and setting up plot. Excuse me. Isn’t the story of RWBY being shared world wide through a visual medium? I don’t think we need these characters sitting down and just talking through a lot of its run. Come on, you can develop world building better then this. There are so many other ways to explore the complex situations of what are going on in the world of Revenant then just talking. Last volume showed this a lot better; then again team RNJR didn’t stay in one location through out the entirety of the show. The first episode of Volume Five established the setting that the volume was going to be taken, but it didn’t explore that much besides training outside sometimes and going to the school to confront Principal Lionheart. If you are going to have 14 episodes, explore the setting more to set up the stakes for what is going on better. Otherwise, you can cut the number of dialogue episodes in half and the results would have been the same.
To add more to Volume Five’s positive sides, the action was great. Are you really surprised by this? The first volume of RWBY had great action already, but it’s only improved since then. The graphics have improved, the choreography is much tighter then it was, the way shots are framed are much better, and I can keep going on if you want me to. I also love how gravity has been taken more of an effect in these fights. Also how fights involved running in a crowd of civilians and using the settings to their full potential. Do I really need to say anymore here? No? let’s continue onto something else bad.
Several plot reveals are completely stupid. All of this goes toward Raven though. Her motivations are questionable at best and she is one of the center of Volume 5’s plot. In this volume of RWBY, there is a pretty big reveal of some plot details that we have been wondering about since the beginning of this web series. We learn more about Ozpin and his amazing past, kind of. He tells us how he was placed on this Earth until he defeats Salem and to do, his consciousness has traveled from one body to the next. He was also the one that created the Season Maidens and a big one here, BIRDS. Qrow and Ravens have bird powers, which is apparently a secret worth keeping and is completely shocking? Why? For all these reasons, Raven doesn’t trust Ozpin because of this past and because she now has the ability to turn into a bird? Her motivations about why she wants to be neutral don’t make any sense at all. I’m glad she was called out by Yang in the last episode. It was a scolding that Raven really needed, because why would you not trust a force for good? Even if that force of good has a complex past, a force for good is still a force for good. Ozpin never has shown any reasons or us, the audience, not to trust us through out RWBY’s run so far.
So all in all, I think I am going to lean toward positive on this one. Why? Because the ending was good. It wasn’t anything as big as the fall of Beacon, but I liked it that way. One, because we as the audience don’t have as strong feelings toward Mistral and Haven because our characters haven’t spent enough time around these things. Two, because there is no way you are ever going to get something as epic as the Fall of Beacon on RWBY for a while. It’s possible if the stakes are built toward certain locations again. I also like the smaller and more personal feeling this conflict had. The first two episodes of Volume 5 and Episode 8 on were pretty golden for me too. So yeah, I can’t even complain too much. Just that a lot of the elements weren’t buttoned up and as tight as they could be. I still can’t wait for Volume 6.