In a strange way, Ruby admitting that she doesn't like skipping two years to go to her dream academy, because she doesn't want to be seen as special. It shows that she's quite responsible despite her usual bluster.
Also, immediately after Ruby admits that she doesn't want to be seen as special, Yang puts an arm around her shoulder and says, "But you ARE special." Awww, Yang!
Made even better by the fact that she doesn't say it in her usual enthusiastic tone, but rather, in a calm, sincere voice, showing that she isn't just trying to boost Ruby's confidence, she just considers it a fact.
The voices of Torchwick's goons in the first scene were a pair of Make a Wish beneficiaries.
The Shining Beacon, Pt. 1
Jaune's interactions with Ruby in general are very sweet and awkward.
The Shining Beacon, Pt. 2
Blake starting to warm up to Ruby when Ruby says she also likes books. Ruby then talks about how she was inspired to become a warrior after Yang read to her stories of heroes.
Blake: That's... very ambitious for a child. Unfortunately, the real world isn't the same as a fairy tale. Ruby: (smiles) Well... that's why we're here. To make it better.
The credits theme, Gold, is all about Yang being a good sister to Ruby.
The First Step, Pt. 1
Pyrrha's genuine friendliness towards Jaune, even when he ignores her to hit on Weiss and just as readily moves to hit on her, is kind of nice, especially considering pretty much everyone else's first reaction to Jaune is either disgust, annoyance, or mockery thus far.
Yang trades some friendly banter with Jaune after Weiss and Pyrrha leave, and Ruby helps him up and walks him out to the starting point. It's all quite nice to watch and the two social misfits certainly have some great chemistry.
The First Step, Pt. 2
Pyrrha quickly looks around upon landing and sees Jaune flailing through the air, and her first instinct is to save him, by way of impaling her spear through his clothes from at least a hundred feet away. Keep in mind that's pretty much her only weapon (that we know of).
Her looking around quickly tells us that saving him was her premeditated plan.
She could just have been more cautious than others and merely caught Jaune by chance as she scans around her landing zone to make sure it's safe for her to proceed on foot. That by no means takes anything away from the fact that she still chooses to save Jaune after seeing him in trouble.
Think about this: Ozpin told them that monsters inhabited the woods, so it was crucial to keep their weapon ready. Instead, Pyrrha puts Jaune's safety above her own by throwing her weapon several hundred meters away to save Jaune, at the potential cost of her own life. In this small act, they're throwing Ship Tease out the window.
Not necessarily. Keep in mind, Ren handled himself fairly well against some of the larger monsters we've seen barehanded before drawing his weapons. Given her reputation, it's a fairly safe assumption that she could travel a few hundred yards whilst being able to avoid anything she couldn't take with just her shield, especially given that she probably has at least partially superhuman speed.
Ruby, mulling over who she knows at Beacon, considers Yang, Jaune, and Blake as partners... before running into eye contact with the one other person she knows: Weiss. Despite their rocky relationship prior, there's no Big "NO!" from either party and they accept each other as partners with minimal fuss beyond Weiss briefly checking to see if another candidate is nearby. Ruby even smiles shortly after eye contact and is happy when Weiss returns to her.
Ruby noticed Weiss before they made eye contact. She comes to a halt, gaze lowered, then chooses to look her in the eyes.
When Pyrrha arrives to where Jaune is still pinned, she teasingly asks him if he still has room on his team. After some feigned offence on Jaune's part, the two look and tenderly smile at each other.
The Emerald Forest, Pt. 1
Despite their relationship still being rocky (before and afterward), when a flaming tree nearly falls on Ruby, Weiss's first instinct is for both of them to cut their losses and run. She could have easily left her there, but chose not to.
Most of Pyrrha and Jaune's interactions in general. Jaune not knowing things about the RWBY universe, and Pyrrha going out of her way to explain things to him. Other people would have probably been annoyed at his ignorance, but not Pyrrha.
In a way, the aura unlocking could be seen as a sort of marriage, with their souls binding together.
Ren smiles for the first time after Nora 'boops' him, and it is adorable.
Not just any smile mind you. It's a "what am I gonna do with you" smile.
Players And Pieces
Once again, Ruby is in trouble, and Weiss's first instinct is to save her. And this time, it wasn't something that endangered herself at all.
The only time Nora loses her cool in this episode is when the Deathstalker slams Ren into a wall. Process that for a moment. Being in the middle of a death-forest doesn't stress her. Being besieged on both sides by what could qualify as living mobile fortresses doesn't stress her. Ren possibly getting hurt? That's what makes her stop grinning.
What Ruby whispers to herself after Weiss buries the hatchet with her. Not to mention the burying of the hatchet itself.
Yang rushing to try and saving Ruby from the Deathstalker, and as soon as she's had her moment with Weiss, the first thing she does is run up and hug her little sister.
Yang's smiling, wordless So Proud of You moment as the teams are leaving the temple.
Blake: What is it? [beat of watching Ruby leading the way] Yang: Nothing.
Plus Blake's smile after the above exchange suggests that she could tell what Yang was thinking.
In Episode 7, Professor Ozpin had seemed only vaguely aware of Glynda's comments about Jaune not being ready for Beacon until the team announcements at the end of Episode 8. He singles out Jaune alone for personal praise with a very "I'm proud of you" tone. In other words, he's basically announced to the entire academy that Jaune has proven he has every right to be at Beacon.
Pyrrha's brilliant grin the moment Jaune is announced to be the leader of team JNPR.
Jaune's surprise at being named team leader by Ozpin. He was clearly not expecting it as he was looking at Pyrrha moments before Ozpin said his name, expecting her to receive the honor.
For one of the final parts of team RWBY's plan to beat the Nevermore, Weiss has to cast a dozen Dust spells in an instant to propel Ruby up the cliff. A moment after Ruby lands on the cliff wall, the camera pans back to Yang, Blake and Weiss, and Weiss falls to one knee in exhaustion after pumping out so many spells so quickly. Consider this for a moment. Not only does Weiss trust Ruby enough to exhaust herself for Ruby's plan, but Ruby reciprocates by leaving her safety in Weiss's hands, since, if the spell had failed, Ruby would no doubt have gotten killed either by falling or being too exposed to a direct attack from the Nevermore.
The Badge and The Burden, Pt. 1
Blake, who prior to this has been mostly cold and standoffish is now gleefully engaging in Ruby's and Yang's morning antics.
The Badge and The Burden, Pt. 2
Professor Port gives Weiss a combination of a mild lecture and a pep talk when she complains about not being leader of Team RWBY, rounding it out by encouraging her to focus on being the best person she can be, instead of worrying about being the best leader.
Not to mention his unshakable faith in Professor Ozpin's judgement.
Professor Ozpin's pep talk to Ruby is also pretty heartwarming, as she was feeling rather down after being chewed out by Weiss earlier. He told her off about her assumption of leadership, warning her that she may have been given it, but she still has to earn it, but he does so in a gentle way that gives her confidence to take his advice instead of knocking her spirit even further.
Weiss making up with Ruby at the end of the episode after getting over the fact that she wasn't made team leader and having taken Professor Port's advice to heart (and seeing that Ruby's trying to take her role a bit more seriously by studying - taking Ozpin's advice even though Weiss doesn't know that).
[Weiss nudges Ruby to wake her with a soft "Ahem!"] Ruby: Weiss! I-I-I was studying and then I fell asleep I'm sorry! Weiss:[covers Ruby's mouth and spots her mug] How do you take your coffee? Ruby: I-I don— Weiss:[irritably] Answer the question! Ruby:Cream and five sugars! Weiss:[sighs] Don't move. [drops down to her bunk and comes back with coffee] Here. Ruby: Um...thanks, Weiss... Weiss: ...Ruby, I think you have what it takes to be a good leader. Just know that I am going to be the best teammate you will ever have. Good luck studying. [goes to leave but stops to point at Ruby's paper] That's wrong by the way! [beat] Weiss: Hey, Ruby? Ruby: Uh-huh? Weiss: ...I always wanted bunk beds as a kid.[exits]
Jaunedice, Pt. 1
Pyrrha's concern for Jaune because of how Cardin treats him. She even tells Jaune that he can always ask her and the others for help whenever he's being bullied. It just shows how much she cares about Jaune.
A small moment, but when Glynda mentions the tournament coming up, Weiss gets just as excited about it as Yang, before quickly returning back to her 'prim and proper' persona.
Jaunedice, Pt. 2
Pyrrha telling Jaune that she "really will break [Cardin's] legs", after watching Jaune just take his crap again.
The simple fact that Pyrrha was more than willing to help Jaune train.
Forever Fall, Pt. 1
So, Cardin is Blackmailing Jaune, what makes Jaune decide enough is enough? Being forced to be their lacky? Nope. An inspirational speech from Ruby? Nope. Tasked to get a large amount of Rapier Wasps in the middle of the night? Nope. An attempt to get revenge on Pyrrha? Oh yes.
Pyrrha throughout the episode. While she does act cold, and the looks she gives are heartbreaking, all of it points to just how much she cares for Jaune.
Ruby's little chat with him in the hall, with her expressing to him the same confidence in Ozpin's decision as Professor Port had about Ruby's. Plus, passing on some of the gist of what Ozpin had said to her that day.
And quite frankly, the way she kept saying, "Nope!" was adorable.
Forever Fall, Pt. 2
Do what you want to Jaune himself, but do NOT mess with his team and/or friends.
First, the obvious: Pyrrha manipulating Jaune's shield to protect him from the Ursa's right paw. But also the conversation with Ruby and Weiss afterward. It's clear that we don't really need to know why Pyrrha's very supportive of Jaune; all we need to know is that she'll always be there for him, even when Jaune himself doesn't know it.
Ruby: We have to tell them what happened! Pyrrha: Or... We could just keep it our little secret.
Jaune acknowledging he had been a jerk for the last few days (weeks?) and apologizing to Pyrrha. And Pyrrha accepting without reservation.
Pyrrha: Jaune, it's okay. Your team really misses their leader, you know.
The smile on Pyrrha's face when Jaune finally asks for her help in training his combat skills.
In spite of all the drama, seeing Weiss and Ruby low five (which one would hardly expect from Weiss) was pretty cute, and shows their friendship really does exist.
Even more potent is that Weiss is the one who initiates the low five.
Ruby can't help but say yes to Penny's request for friendship. Penny's exuberance is adorable, if uncanny.
This also shows the Character Development Ruby has undergone over the course of the season. Accepting a friendship request even at the discouragement of one's existing friends is quite a difference from the girl in Episode 2 who didn't feel the need to socialize when her sister was around.
The fact that Weiss even went out with Ruby and Yang to look for Blake. How she feels about Blake is unknown, but she's willing to put those feelings aside and help her friends.
Black and White
Weiss declaring she doesn't care that Blake was once a member of the White Fang and insists that she talk to her teammates the next time something serious happens.
Also when she proceeds to talk to Sun, you can hear her nearly call him by the names she used in the last episode, but she stops herself just before she does so. It could be for Blake.
Penny decides to wipe the floor with a few dozen White Fang goons because they hurt Ruby.
Also, Ruby telling her to stay back where it's safe.
Blake as a child protesting alongside White Fang. She's so adorable.
Ruby trying to "diffuse" any possible situation with Blake and Weiss at the end.
Ruby doesn't quite understand the problem. "Weiss; it's not what you think; she doesn't actually wear a bow; she's got these kitty ears, and they're actually kinda cute!"
Aside from Weiss choosing to look past Blake's past and consider her a teammate, there's just something poignant in the way she restrains herself from disparaging Sun in front of Blake. Considering how liberal she's been with insulting the Faunus an episode earlier, she's clearly not the girl she was 12 hours earlier.
Sun hanging around with Blake- a near-total stranger- for two days, because he thought she needed the company. And she did.
Best Day Ever
Blake looks over her notes, which contains a pencil drawing of Adam from the back, with his rose symbol just below that. She doesn't say anything, but it's clear that despite deserting him in the Black trailer, she's still a little worried about him.
On a secondary note, on the facing page is the old White Fang symbol, before their violent turn, showing how she prefers to think of them.
Let's take a brief moment to bask in Weiss' character evolution so far. When Blake makes a move to isolate herself, Weiss stands up and encourages them all to do something together. She was doing two things here which warm the heart. First, after Ruby explained her intentions in detail about spending their last day of free time together Weiss is the first to support her efforts. While she might not be advocating for the specific scheme Ruby has in mind, she is taking the initiative to accomplish Ruby's endgame of spending time together. This is in major contrast to she started in volume one, where she treated Ruby as either a hindrance or as a rival through most of the episodes. And second, she is specifically attempting to wrangle Blake back into the group and not allow her to isolate herself. While this gesture is not as obvious as it becomes in episode two, Weiss is clearly trying to reach out to the girl. Particularly poignant considering all the things she said about Blake's species and former organization at the end of volume 1.
Then she promptly gets pied in the face, which was fairly adorable in its own right. Doubly so if we take Nora's sudden cry of "I got it!" to mean that her solution to what to do today was in fact the ensuing food fight. And while we cut away from her full reaction, anger didn't seem to be part of it at all.
Gotta love the bromance going on between Sun and Neptune in the episode.
The mere fact that everyone is willing to engage in this wholesale silliness is pretty heartwarming by itself. Yes, this would come naturally for Nora, Ruby, and Yang, but this seems like the kind of situation Blake, Ren, Weiss, and to a lesser extent Jaune and Pyrra would just as well like to avoid. That everyone jumps right into it without a second thought speaks to how much the teams have loosened up and become more tightly knit.
During the food fight, you really get to see how good the teamwork in RWBY has gotten. They trade off on fighting and block blows for each other throughout the fight. This enables them to stand in equal footing to Nora and Pyrrha.
The epic food fight between RWBY and JNPR has ended, Glynda has cleaned up, and finished chewing them all out. And how does everyone react? Nora belches loudly, Yang falls through the roof, and after a brief pause? Both teams, still a complete mess, break down laughing. And then Ozpin shows up just in time to cool Glynda's head.
Emerald and Mercury may be the new pair of antagonists for this volume, but their Vitriolic Best Buds routine can be quite endearing. One might wonder how either would react to the other being in any genuine peril.
Mercury: (in a sarcastically pleading fashion) Oh Emerald, master thief! Please don't take my money. I barely have enough to get by.
Sun is ecstatic over the opportunity of introducing Neptune to Team RWBY, speaks of them in idolizing tones, and makes a point of emphasizing Blake's desire for secrecy of her heritage in earnest.
Welcome To Beacon
According to Jaune, Weiss was nice enough to tell him + his team about Blake's 'status'.
When Weiss' advantage in their card game crumbles she falls back down into her chair in waterfall tears. Then Ruby, still in tears herself over her own move being ruined, tries comforting her.
Yang: Trap card.
Yang:*Rearranges the board* Your armies have been destroyed!
Weiss:*Slumps into her chair crying* I hate this game of emotions we play!
Ruby:*Leaps into Weiss lap and hugs her still in tears herself* Stay strong, Weiss! We'll make it through this together!
Weiss:*Still emotional, hugs Ruby back and pulls her close.* Shut up! Don't touch me!
Notice especially that Weiss says not to touch her and THEN goes in for a bigger hug. Her heart seems to know better than her head what she thinks of Ruby.
The flashback in which Ozpin tries his damnedest to get Blake to open up. It's very clear he cares about his students and is saddened by prejudice that the faunus fall under.
Ozpin: I admire your drive, and I am proud to run a school that accepts individuals from all walks of life. Rich, poor, human...[beat, takes a sip of coffee]...faunus...[with a hit of sadness] Why do you wear that bow, Blake? Why hide who you are?
Even when he becomes harsher and colder during that conversation, while asking if Blake still has connections with the White Fang, it's not because he's judging her — he is protecting his world, and his students. Only when he begins to mention a possible threat does his expression and tone turn hard, and when that passes, he goes back to a worried and sad expression, asking Blake to please speak to him if anything is bothering her, not just if she has any more information about the incident. He makes it clear that he does care about his students, ALL his students, very much.
Before that, how much he believes in protecting his students, and very subtly, that he believes they can take care of themselves as well - all expressed in one sentence.
Ironwood: But ask yourself this: Do you seriously believe your children can win a war? (slowly turns to leave)
Ozpin: I hope they never have to.
Weiss noticing Blake's depression, and calling her out on it, getting her to open up to them, just as Blake promised at the end of Volume 1.
The way she dramatically poses on a chair just to ask Blake what is wrong is adorable and funny. Ruby seems to be rubbing off on her.
A Minor Hiccup
Sun's response to Ruby's attempts to discourage him from helping them investigate the The White Fang.
Ruby: Sorry Sun. We don't wanna get friends involved if we don't have to.
Sun: That's dumb, you should always get friends involved.
A blink and you miss it moment right at the start; after Jaune fails to flirt with Weiss and everyone leaves, Yang ruffles his hair and tries to reassure him on the way past.
Despite how scared Penny obviously is she's adamant that her father loves her and is genuinely worried about her well-being.
Ruby herself expresses an understanding and appreciation in regards to her own father.
There's something about the delivery of Ruby's "...oh" at the end that seems to carry an understanding, almost comforting tone, instead of something more shocked or along the lines of "...huh, interesting."
Ruby and Penny's interactions are very sweet. When they meet to discuss what happened after the night at the docks, Ruby appears by Penny's side with a hand on her shoulder, just smiling. From then on, the entire thing almost feels like a date.
Painting The Town
Ruby was only upset because Penny is upset; and takes Penny's Robotic Reveal very kindly and assures her that she has a heart and soul.
Ruby: "You think just because you have nuts and bolts instead of squishy guts makes you any less real than me?"
Weiss sending Blake a glyph to attack on, even though it means Weiss herself falls.
"Gold": A bubbly song that about being a protective, comforting, and generally positive influence on someone's life.
The first volume's opening depicted Pyrrha reaching out to Jaune reassuringly, foreshadowing her support of him in the future episodes; the second opening depicts a similar situation, only with their positions reversed.
The closing titles of the second volume use Fanart for their visuals.