The hype train has departed the station, and is moving full speed ahead.
Volume 5 of RWBY, let’s go.
Rejoining Our Heroes
Episode 1 was all about establishing the rest of the season–where team RWBY is headed, what’s the game plan, the conflict at hand, and honestly, Episode 1 does a fantastic job of this.
Getting to see team RNJR again, with an Uncle Qrow who is actually healthy and on his feet, felt fantastic. It felt like there was tangible progress from Volume 4, that they actually made it to Haven safe and sound. I like that we got to start off the episode getting to see that, and more to the point, I’m really loving the character interactions that are coming about as a result.
Moving on to Weiss, who, understandably didn’t get much of a spotlight this episode, we got all that we needed in the span of half a minute.
And I mean really, the dialogue in Weiss’s section of the episode was exactly what I wanted. Weiss is apologetic, and the pilot of the ship she’s on lets us know that they’re flying off-radar, that he’s being paid off, and that his goal is to avoid all human interaction. It’s a lot of detail, and on top of that, through the distress call that the pilot avoided, we got to see that Weiss has gained a lot more empathy, and that’s awesome to see.
With Blake, I have to admit that with Volume 4, I didn’t enjoy her story arc as much as the others of RWBY–it was rather stale for Blake’s character, if I’m being honest, serving more to set up the plot, than to concretely develop her. Because of this, I wasn’t filled with too much excitement for her going-ons in Menagerie, but to be honest, I think, again, Episode 1 did a pretty alright job.
Blake’s section of the episode is, similar to Weiss’s, rather simple. We get information as to what she, Sun, and her parents plan to do to combat the White Fang: make public their violent intentions. However, Ilia gives her a heads up, that it probably won’t be as simple as she’d like, and that, as much as they might not want to, they’re going to have to face off eventually. It’s all rather…melancholy, and that’s fine.
What happened with Blake, in my opinion, is simple, and sets up the rest of her story well. Her relationship with Ilia sets up potential for that little emotional punch later in the volume, and, although it’s too early to say, I think we’re off to a good start.
Finally, we’ve got the blonde bombshell herself, Yang Xiao Long, and she’s looking FINE as hell.
Okay, but really, I’m EXTREMELY excited for Yang’s development this Volume.
First of all, Yang’s portion of the episode did everything it was supposed to, in setting up the story. Yang’s going after her mother, and that’s hype as hell, seeing as we haven’t seen Raven in forever, but also, she now has a lead as to where she might be! Again, that’s simple information, but it’s all we needed.
However, I’ve got to say this: everything we saw of her in this first episode was fantastic, simply because it was so…not Yang. She’s clearly still reeling from the effects of the Fall of Beacon, and it shows. Not that she still can’t kick ass, as we see with the stupid bandit, but boy, her demeanor is so, so different, and I love that we can see that, despite how stupidly cool she looks.
On that note, I’ve got to say that Barbara’s voice acting for Yang here is really, really good. It takes the Yang we all know and love, and really, really hits that sweet melancholy range, that hint of sadness mixed with quiet determination. I don’t know if anyone else felt that, but my goodness, I loved how Yang sounded this episode.
Damn, It Looks Good
The Maya animation engine looked fantastic in Volume 4, and it looks fantastic in Volume 5. But, just as Volumes 2 and 3 improved RWBY’s technical level, so too does Volume 5, at least, starting off!
Where do I start? The world presented looks vibrant and colorful, even when there’s not much color to speak of. The movements feel natural, capturing a uniquely RWBY sense of style. The facial expressions are great, the voice acting is really nice (shout outs to Lionheart’s VA) and overall, everything, from a technical standpoint just feels great. Not to mention, the subtle usage of 2D images to add depth to 3D images, or for the sake of exposition, were very, very appreciated.
That said, I think what has me most excited, is the feeling that everything in Volume 5 feels a lot more stylistically consistent, a lot more…intentional. Camera angles seem to be chosen very specifically for specific purposes, the humor felt natural, and, overall, it just felt very…sure of itself.
I don’t know. It’s abstract, but I think episode 1 is showing that RWBY is very, very sure of where it’s going.
3 Things to Look Forward To
Being the setup episode for the rest of the Volume, there’s naturally a lot of information that is just exciting to see: a lot of plot points that are itching to be delved into.
I’ll just say, rather quick, 3 things that I can’t WAIT to see this Volume.
- What the heck is Oscar/Ozpin going to be doing with RNJR?
Now, this is rather obvious, but man, there’s a LOT of information we don’t know regarding Oscar and Ozpin’s strange relationship. Ozpin in general is just an enigmatic figure, so seeing that we finally, FINALLY get to see him, in some way, interact with Ruby and the gang? Man, that’s just exciting.
Also, the fact that Ozpin may not know of Lionheart’s treachery with Watts…what’s going to happen with that? How will RNJR deal with it, and what’s happening? There’s just a lot of mystery here, and a lot of potential for some good stuff to happen!
- What’s happening on Menagerie?
The thing about Volume 4 and Blake that I didn’t enjoy, was that nothing too plot-heavy was really happening, and Blake’s character growth felt…stagnant, as a result. It was just a new place, which was cool to see, but I wanted more.
With these new stakes, with whatever Ilia is mentioning, with Adam and Hazel in particular, I’m convinced that this Volume 5 Menagerie story arc is going to be a lot more…plot-heavy. We’ll see how it goes down, of course, but I’m hopeful!
- What’s going to happen with Raven?
Holy crap, so much is going to happen with Raven this Volume, it’s ridiculous. Yang’s going to try and find her, and it looks like she’ll succeed, maybe even in the next few episodes? She has the Spring Maiden, so Qrow and RNJR may very well cross paths with her? And what’s that with Cinder in the intro, and the Spring Maiden?
There’s just so many plot-relevant things happening around Raven, who remains one of the most enigmatic figures of RWBY, that I can’t help but be hyped that we’re going to get to see more of her. She’s a character that is hugely influential in the lives of our man characters, but we’ve barely seen her! It’s only right to be hyped as hell for this.
So, those’re my thoughts on RWBY Volume 5, Episode 1. It was a freaking good introductory episode, if not the best, and it left me hyped for the rest of the volume!
I figured I’d release this post to correspond with the Youtube release, and, if all goes well, I’ll be continually releasing these videos to correspond with them, or, depending on feedback, I might post with the Roosterteeth first release, so…there’s the schedule.
Any thoughts on the first episode? Who else is hyped as hell for the rest of the volume? Leave a comment down below!