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Analysis / RWBY

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

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    Character Inspirations 

RWBY (Ruby)

JNPR (Juniper)

CFVY (Coffee)

CRDL (Cardinal)

Vale

Atlas

Mistral

Menagerie

SSSN (Sun)

Salem’s Faction

The White Fang (White Fang')

The Club

ABRN (Auburn)

  • Arslan Altan - Aslan
  • Bolin Hori - ???
  • Reese Chloris - ???
  • Nadir Shiko - ???

BRNZ (Bronze)

FNKI (Funky)

Other

The Creatures of Grimm

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     Motif Symbolism 

Fire

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-colored', 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.
  • This has now been completely inverted as of Volume 3. Cinder Fall spams fire attacks constantly, only a few heroic characters use fire at all now, Pyrrha's dead, and Yang's been mutilated.

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). Sun Wukong, her friend-turned-emotional support, is also very obviously named for the sun.

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.

The Symbolism of Eyes

Eyes are a major symbolism in the Volumes. Ruby's silver eyes are the source of her power, whereas Yang's change colors when her semblance is activated. Neo, Klein, and Tyrian's eyes can change color. Maiden's eyes glow when they are using their power, and Cinder's left eye is scarred after her encounter with Ruby. Salem's symbol has an eye on the front. Almost all Grimm have an eye symbol on their masks.

     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, we are repeatedly reminded of the 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.
    • V4E12: Indivdually, Team RNJR can barely injure the Nuckelavee, who is leagues stronger than any of the Huntsmen and continuously adapts its fighting strategy against them. Ren's reckless charge against the beast due to rage nearly cost him his life. It was only by coordinating their attacks together that they were able to incapacitate and finally kill it.
  • Unity: Not simply working together, but being united under a shared goal or ideal is shown as a strength and those who lack unity are shown to fail.
    • Salem openly acknowledges that mankind is a significant threat against her when united against a common foe, this is why she works to sow fear and doubt in society to divide humanity and rob them of this strength.
    • Salem's faction fails to obtain the Relic of Knowledge because they lacked unity.
      • Raven, Vernal, and Professor Lionheart were forced to work with Salem's faction. Raven and Vernal were intending to betray Salem from the beginning and when the tide turned in the heroes' favor, Professor Lionheart fled almost immediately.
      • When Hazel realized Ozpin was near, he lost himself to rage and only focused on trying to kill Ozpin and those who followed him.
      • Adam Taurus murdered Sienna Khan to usurp the White Fang against Salem's orders and dismissed Hazel's disproval. When the faunus of Menagerie came to stop the White Fang, Adam demanded aid from Hazel who refused to help him. The White Fang was swiftly defeated, forcing Adam to escape.
      • Cinder allowed Raven to make changes to the plan to steal the Relic to satisfy her need for revenge against Ruby, bringing a group of Huntsmen to Haven when they could have otherwise stolen the Relic from under everyone's noses. Dr. Watts points this out, but she elects to ignore him and their stated mission for her own desires.
      • Cinder's lust for power pushed her to betray Raven and Vernal before they opened the Vault of the Spring Maiden so she could try to steal the Spring Maiden's power for herself. She fell for Vernal being Raven's decoy as the Spring Maiden, which ended with her losing the fight against Raven.
    • Because all of the villains present were persuing their own agendas while the heroes were united in purpose, they failed completely.

     Missing Parents 
There’s a running theme/motif of parental figures being dead, abusive, absent, or some combination of the three.
  • Summer is dead, and Taiyang shut down emotionally shortly after, leaving Yang to do the bulk of the work raising Ruby. Meanwhile, Raven was off galivanting with her bandit tribe, and Qrow-the only other adult authority figure the girls had growing up-was off doing missions for Oz.
  • Nora and Ren are both orphans (what happened to Nora’s folks in unclear, but we know Ren’s were killed right in front of him by the Grimm).
    • His Amity Arena flavor text states Fox is orphaned as well.
  • Jacques Schnee is cold, domineering, and only cares about his and his company’s reputation, being emotionally and at one point physically abusive towards Weiss. His wife isn’t much better, spending every day out in the garden downing bottle after bottle of wine to forget.
  • Marcus Black was a physically abusive, sadistic sociopath, going as far as to remove a part of his son’s soul.
    • It’s been all but directly stated Emerald’s parents weren’t around either.
  • Salem killed her own daughters during her wizard duel with her husband, then killed him shortly after.
  • Oscar’s parents are also conspicuously missing.
  • Ilia’s were killed in a Dust mine explosion.
The only parents who are both alive and actively support their children are the Belladonnas, Taiyang now that he’s got his groove back, and Saphron and Terra.
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