Analysis / RWBY

This is the analysis page for RWBY. Please limit speculation to its Wild Mass Guessing page.

    open/close all folders 

     Motif Symbolism 


Fire (and, by extension, light) is treated as a highly positive force. The show's prologue uses visual contrasts to emphasize the importance of light, and Remnant's Grimm-slaying academies are all named after sources of it- to say nothing of the Grimm themselves being depicted as living shadows. The fire-themed character Yang is an enthusiastic, nurturing girl, who- although overly violent at times- is nonetheless a supportive sister to Ruby and the only protagonist not to cause inter-team conflict in volume 1. Pyrrha, whose first name translates to 'fire-coloured', is similarly juxtaposed- powerful yet protective, intimidating yet comforting. The only points at which fire is negatively treated are in episode 6, when Weiss misdirects a blow and causes a forest fire, and in Episode 1 with Cinder's fire magic.

Blake's Relations

Almost all of Blake's major interactions have a light/fire/warmth theme to them. Yang is her partner and is themed for the fire of the sun. Adam Taurus, her former partner, is named after a constellation—as in, stars in the sky. Roman Torchwick, her arch-enemy, is themed after a Roman Candle (fireworks).

Other themes are blood. Ruby Rose's theme, dark as it is, is blood. Ruby's her leader. Adam, her former partner, might not alert many to it, but his weapons are named Wilt and Blush. Blush is short for bloodrush. Wilt is a word for "to die". His weapons are literally named Blood and Death. Make of this what you will. Her current partner is Yang, whose symbol is a burning heart, with a heart being the organ that pumps blood to all parts of the body.
     Ozpin and the Branwens, Norse Myth 

Ozpin and the Branwens (Qrow and Raven), are analagous to the Norse elder god Odin and his ravens. Each day and night, a raven would fly from his shoulders and report back at the end of that day or night with information. During the day, Huginn, whose name meant "Thought" was sent, and he is analagous to Qrow, who is known to be reporting to Ozpin. So far, Qrow has only been seen during the daytime, while Raven, who at this point is analagous to Muninn (meaning "Memory") has only been seen during the night, when Muninn was sent. Both of them are apparently watching the situation in Vale, with Qrow's case being literal, as he observes the Vytal Tournament on a TV screen. A verse from the Third Grammatical Treatise states that Odin sent Huginn off to seek hanged men, while he sent Muninn to seek slain men, the difference being unclear, but likely referring to death by execution versus death by battle. Qrow wears a cross around his neck, referencing execution, while Raven wears a helmet, referencing battle.

     FNKI's Plan 
As noted by Weiss, students from Atlas are highly militarized, tend to wield advanced Dust Weaponry, and fight with a carefully rehearsed strategy. Though Flynt Coal and Neon Katt fail to meet the requirement for militarized, their strategy is almost perfect.
  • Psychological Warfare: Before and during the match, Flynt and Neon (especially Neon) heckled, demean, and distract Weiss and Yang, with comments about Yang's weight and Weiss' father and skill notably getting under their skin. This throws them both off their game.
  • Divide and Conquer: Immediately at the matches beginning, Flynt and Neon separate Yang and Weiss. This is important because of how each girl fights:
    • Yang is a tank, taking and dealing damage, but is also slow and, as demonstrated in her fight with Neo, unable to handle fast opponents and lacks ranged options.
    • Weiss is a support specialist, empowering her friends and weakening her foes. However, she is poor in direct combat, and of her three fights against human opponents (The Knight, The Lieutenant, and Flynt) she only beats the Knight.
    • Yang and Weiss are meant to fight as a team, rather than alone. Hence, the literally first act that Flynt and Neon perform on the battlefield is to separate them.
  • Delay and Destroy: This is the point where FNKI's plan starts to go wrong though.
    • Neon is tasked with keeping Yang from returning to the battlefield, actively freezing Yang and enraging Yang to keep Yang's attention on her. However, she also does physical damage to Yang, which, as we know, increases her power level.
    • Flynt needs to move in now and take out Weiss quickly. His attacks, knowledge of Dust, and his own status as a Tank makes him a powerful opponent against the quicker but weaker Weiss. He easily absorbs Weiss' attacks and throws her about the battlefield with his own. His mistake was not finishing her off when he had the chance. This leads to Weiss using his distraction to push him into a lava plume and roast them both alive. Though Flynt survives, his Aura is very low now.
  • Overwhelm: The final part of FNKI's plan is to defeat the now abandoned Yang by overwhelming her with fast distractions and heavy attacks. This stratagem almost works, but for two reasons: Yang has now activated her Semblance thanks to Neon's beating earlier, and Flynt's Aura has been depleted due to Weiss' sacrifice from earlier. Thanks to these factors, Yang is able to defeat Flynt in one blow, and Neon, now alone, is little more than a sitting duck for the empowered Yang.
  • Summary: In the end, Flynt and Neon were powerful, intelligent opponents that lost due to not knowing an important factor of their enemy's abilities, and their own hubris.

     Strength in Unity 
Throughout RWBY (or at least the three that have aired as of this writing), we are repeatedly reminded of power of unity.
  • Teamwork: Although huntsmen and huntresses consistently tear through mooks like tissue paper, they have difficulty defeating stronger enemies without teamwork:
    • V1E1: Ruby is unable to defeat Roman, and Glynda does little more than dent Roman's getaway jet
    • V1E6-8: Ruby can't scratch the Deathstalker due to it's armor, but Team JNPR manages to slay it in a concerted effort. The same proves true for Team RWBY and The Nevermore
    • V1E14: A small one, but Pyrrha saves Jaune by using polarity to lift his shield and enable him to slay the Ursa Major
    • V2E11: Team RWBY splits up to try and get through the train faster, but doing so causes the one that gets left behind to be defeated once they come upon a tougher opponent.
    • V3E1: Team ABRN spends most of their time scattered around the field picking individual fights and only work together when one of their members requires assistance. This makes them the perfect target for Team RWBY's combination attacks.
    • V3E2: Team JNPR manages to endure the whole fight in spite of their disadvantages thanks to Jaune's tactical judgment and work together to counter whatever BRNZ throws at them until they find a winning chance and ultimately come victorious.