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Volume 6: Adam
- Near the beginning of the short, a group of White Fang members are being attacked by humans until Adam leaps into action and beats them up. His actions are non-lethal until he spots a human making a run at Ghira whereupon he unleashes a sword beam that kills him instantly. Unusually for the show, a large amount of blood can be seen pooling around the man's body and splattered over the vehicle behind him. Everyone freezes. Even the music stops. There is no ambience, no Lonely Piano Piece, just silence as the camera lingers on the scene. And then Ghira recovers his wit and tries to chastise Adam's violence, only to be silenced by Sienna chastising him in turn. As Sienna and Ghira glare at each other, the White Fang begin to praise Adam's 'awesome' actions with no consideration for the bloody body right beside them. It's a stark and unnerving visual of the exact moment the White Fang began to change from peaceful protesters to violent terrorists.
- During an assault on an SDC base, Adam carves a swath through the guards protecting the facility. There's a dark moment where he stands over a fallen guard, his sword raised and ready to stab the now defenceless man at his feet. And he grins. In contrast to the killing of the human who attacked Ghira, Adam is not only prepared to kill unnecessarily, but is clearly relishing the prospect of doing so. He is interrupted by Sienna before he can carry out the act but it's not merely an unpleasant moment: it's a clear visual clue that Adam is an absolute monster and that the one person who might be able to keep him in check (Sienna) is completely oblivious to the warning signs that the audience can see.
- The story Yang tells Blake is full of Adult Fear. When she and Ruby were only small children, they ventured out into the woods in search of Yang's biological mother, only to find themselves surrounded by ferocious Grimm. The two children came very close to dying that day, with only a fortuitous intervention by Qrow saving Taiyang from having to mourn his two daughters shortly after having lost his second wife.
- Yang shooting Mercury is, in itself, pretty damn horrifying; it happens so quickly and callously. One minute Yang is seemingly walking next to Mercury and then, without warning, Yang turns around and shoots a barely moving, begging Mercury in the kneecap with a sickening crunch. He falls into a fetal position, screaming in pain. No wonder the crowd was horrified by what they saw.
Beginning of the End
- Amber gets shot in the back with an arrow and is then propped up by Mercury and Emerald while having half her soul ripped out through her face. The procedure leaves her in a coma and with scars all over her face. All she wanted to do was help a crying child.
- Penny is shown being torn apart by her own wires. When Pyrrha is tricked into blasting the blades away with her Semblance, Penny grabs her chest as if the magnetism has stopped her heart. In slow motion, the wires wrap around Penny's body with a metallic crushing sound, followed by a close-up of her body being ripped in half with a metallic screech.
Battle of Beacon
- The second breach of Vale, full of chaos, destruction, and devastation as the city becomes overrun with Grimm. Even named characters suffer, with Roy from Team BRNZ being carried off by a Nevermore. Even Emerald is disturbed by the sight of it all. Then the Grimm Dragon arrives, bursting out of Mount Glenn, shattering the entire mountain in the process. It's bigger than any other Grimm seen to date, its head alone being more than twice an Ursa's size. Its mere presence is enough to make the normally fearless Goodwitch react with horror and, as it flies, it drops blobs of darkness that spawn more Grimm as they hit the ground.
Heroes and Monsters
- The way Adam switches between terms of endearment and threats when talking to Blake, shows a lack of remorse towards her, and shifts the blame for his sadism onto her, all serve to confirm that their relationship is an abusive one, and an eerily realistic one at that.
- Yang losing her arm is one of the most chilling scenes in the volume. Adam stabs Blake to make her scream, grabbing Yang's attention as she rushes to protect her friend. Then, it takes Adam only a single slash to permanently maim one of the show's main characters.Adam: I will make it my mission to destroy everything you love... starting with her.
End of the Beginning
- Pyrrha's fight with Cinder ends when Cinder shoots Pyrrha with an arrow. Ash and embers rise from the wound as Pyrrha briefly gasps for breath. When she stops breathing, Cinder steps forward and gently cradles Pyrrha's cheek with her hand. Pyrrha promptly turns to ash, her remains scattering to the wind, only leaving behind her circlet. Ruby is forced to witness this, arriving just moments to late to intervene.
- Yang's PTSD is explored in a nightmare she has about Adam. She's in a Dark World version of the room she was in when she lost her arm, notices that she has her arm back, and sees Adam approaching her to an eerie soundtrack and glowing like red fire. She suddenly has Ember Celica, and begins frantically firing at Adam, but her shots pass right through him. She tries firing again, but discovers with horror that Ember Celica and her arm have vanished, and Adam is suddenly standing right in front of her. He sneers and draws his sword. What was once a vivacious, fearless and confident girl is now a shrivelled wreck of her former self who has clearly built up Adam to be an unstoppable monster in her mind. This is exactly how fear cripples people in real life.
A Much Needed Talk
- By the end of the episode, Qrow is starting to succumb to Tyrian's venom, Coughing Up Blood which has become purple in reaction to the toxin and slipping into a coma. This would be a terrifying situation normally, but it's made worse by the fact that he and team RNJR are far away from civilization, with nowhere to get medical aid nearby. All Ruby can do is hope her uncle will hold on until they can make it back to a city.
- The strange hoof print marks seen throughout the volume are confirmed to be the creature that destroyed the villages of Shion, Oniyuri and Kuroyuri, and it looks like a Nuckelavee. The creature looks like a horse and rider, but it's a single being; the hindlegs end in hooves, the forelegs end in clawed feet. The 'rider' part is skeletal and the head is horned; things stick out of its body like it's a pin cushion and the eyes of both 'rider' and 'horse' glow red. Its shrill scream carries for many miles, and is something no human or horse would make; it's unique even for Grimm. Villagers without specialised Huntsmen training don't stand a chance against it as the beast plods slowly through the burning streets, demolishing buildings and slaughtering defenders with ease. What's worse, other Grimm are all maniacal violence, bolting from victim to victim and attempting to inflict as much damage as possible. The Nuckelavee is cold deliberation, stalking slowly after those too wounded to flee. Sadism is a far cry from the bestial behavior of most Grimm, and it makes one fear just how smart Grimm are capable of becoming.
- Everything about the second flashback. Previous episodes have shown Grimm attacks, but those always focused on the warriors, forcing back the beasts and protecting the bystanders. Here there's none of that, just helpless civilians running in abject terror as Grimm stalk the streets and descend from above. It really drives home just how precarious life is outside the protections of the kingdoms and Huntsmen... and just how deadly the Grimm can be.
- Sienna Khan is presented as a potential moderating influence on Adam's violent vision of a world painted with the blood of humans until Adam reveals his goal: he wants to use Salem's people to enable him to use the White Fang to prove Faunus superiority by breaking and enslaving humanity. An incensed Sienna attempts to have Adam and Hazel removed from the premises, only to find her bodyguards turning on her. Adam completes the coup by killing Sienna and assuming her place as White Fang High Leader, intending to make Sienna a martyr that will inflame White Fang violence against humans. Despite being one of the subordinates that is helping Salem turn the people of the world against each other no matter how many lives are lost in the process, Hazel not only disapproves of what Adam has done, but is shocked and disgusted. The realization that Adam's vision of the world doesn't even fit in with Salem's already dark vision hits the viewer like a ton of bricks.
- Remember Yang's story back in volume 2? Some more context is given in this episode, not only revealing that Yang was left alone with Ruby regularly (which would be disturbing enough) to pick up the pieces after Summer's death, but at the time, Ruby hadn't even learned how to talk yet. As that part of early development happens at around the age of 1-2 years old, this means that Yang couldn't have been more than four years old at the time. Adult Fear doesn't even begin to cover that.
The More The Merrier
- The episode reminds the viewer what Cinder is capable of. She enters the scene fireball first, engaging the protagonists with an eerie smile and sinister grace that makes Jaune call her broken inside. She cheerfully toys with Jaune, hurting him with a smile and becoming gleeful when she tears down his psyche. Jaune catches her mask with a glancing blow when Ruby's silver eyes momentarily de-power her, causing her to defeat Jaune and rage at him furiously. She calms upon realizing he values his friends' lives above his own; with sheer joy on her face, she creates a copy of Pyrrha's spear, and strikes Weiss from behind. Weiss is caught on her knees, impaled through her torso, gasping for every last breath in a grisly replay of Pyrrha's death that's designed to mess as much with the audience's heads as the characters, given that Pyrrha was as popular with the audience as she was in-universe.
- When Lionheart attempts to flee from Mistral, Salem dispatches her Seer Grimm to corner him. It grabs him by the feet and wraps around his throat before dragging him off-screen. Only the sounds of the Grimm stabbing him in the back and then the head can be heard when Lionheart rasps out one last plea.
- When Emerald learns of Cinder's apparent death, she screams as her Semblance simultaneously targets all nine protagonists. The hall is suddenly cast in blackish-red lighting while hellish Grimm-like sounds fill the air. A warped effigy of Salem materialises from a swirling black cloud, twitching like the Nuckelavee and smiling creepily as it coalesces. The effigy reaches the ceiling in height, and unleashes a deafening, multi-toned scream. Her eyes are shown to be black pits with red vapour trails, and her mouth opens unnaturally wide to reveal a fiery maw. Suddenly, the effigy swoops down over the cowering heroes and towards the camera with hands outstretched. The camera blacks out as if engulfed by her, creating the illusion that Salem was attacking the audience instead of the heroes.
- Adam sitting on the throne of the White Fang with the bodies and blood of those who refused to follow him littering the throne room, in what is undoubtedly the bloodiest scene in the whole show. Repeating Blake's name to himself, Adam then cuts the throne in half and lets out a blood-curdling scream of rage. Adam is furious and it's very obvious Blake now has his undivided attention.
The Lost Fable
- When the Dark God notices Salem, he reveals himself in a way that blends both Nightmare Fuel and Nausea Fuel. His head and limbs contort into a hideous form with unpleasant cricking sounds; he crawls forth from the Grimm pools in a lizard-like fashion, but only because his humanoid body is twisted in directions that the human body just isn't capable of without serious injury. For the audience, this creates an unsettling not-quite-human atmosphere that just comes across as completely wrong.
- When Salem tries to rally humanity against the Brothers, the God of Darkness demonstrates exactly why you shouldn't take your creator's gifts for granted, least divine retribution punish you and even those uninvolved: he deprives Salem's army of their magic, then unleashes a wave of destruction across the entire planet. This results in all of humanity dying in one horrible instant, the depiction of which is sudden and brutal (a flash of purple light engulfs the entire world and annihilates all human life in its way, accompanied by the soundtrack's frightful wails and ashes in the air after the deed is done). Just to drive the genocide's impact home, the God of Darkness cuts Salem's vow of revenge short by telling her the reality of her situation:God of Darkness: You do not understand. There is no one left. You are all that remains of humanity.
So That's How It Is
- When Emerald threatens Tyrian after he mocks Cinder's apparent death, he gets right up in her face and makes this chilling remark while cutting his face on her blades. The scene's eerily similar to a creep harassing a woman, with the intent of murdering and/or raping her; a scenario that's all too common in the real world.Tyrian: Careful, little girl. Cinder isn't here to protect you any more.
- After nearly getting killed for the failure of the Haven plot, Hazel reveals to Salem that Ozpin's resurfaced and is leading the group to Atlas with the Relic of Knowledge in tow. As Tyrian and Watts talk about the implications of this news, the windows in the council room start cracking all over, and dark energy surrounds Salem as her rage boils to the surface. Seething with barely-contained fury, she harshly orders her subordinates to leave, and they promptly do so in wide-eyed alarm. Once the doors shut behind them, there's a moment of eerie silence as Salem tries to calm down, almost akin to the calm before a raging storm. Suddenly, she throws her head back and unleashes a primal, ear-piercing scream that shatters every window in the room. Watching the usually dignified Salem lose it like this is terrifying to behold.
The Coming Storm
- The stranded heroes are forced to take shelter from a blizzard in an abandoned farmstead. They explore the house to assess safety, find firewood, blankets and supplies. In the process, Weiss, Yang and Qrow discover that the farm owners never abandoned the farm: they're all tucked up in their beds, having died long before the present. After treating the audience to numerous happy family photographs on the walls, the camera panning to a close-up shot of the dead husband and wife is unexpectedly frank for this show. The decaying, almost mummified, state of the corpses leaves nothing to the imagination, and the way they lay down make it absolutely clear that they went to bed, fell asleep and never woke up. The idea that living people are forced to find shelter from a terrible blizzard in a isolated house riddled with the corpses of the original owners is deeply unsettling for the viewer to witness.
Alone In The Woods
- The behaviour of the heroes after spending the night on the farm is chilling. It's clear that something is seriously wrong; everyone is grouchy and lethargic, seeking excuses to abandon both the quest to Atlas and the Relic of Knowledge. Everyone's eyes become dull, flat and lifeless, with over-sized pupils that make them seem somehow wrong. As numerous viewers have commented, it eerily mimics the descent into depression and hopelessness that can afflict people in real life.
- The Apathy Grimm are a physically sub-par species of Grimm. Even their overwhelming numbers don't provide a physical threat like they do for most Grimm. Instead, they are relentless in slowly pursuing the victims they target. Their mere presence drains a person's will to live until the victim lies down where they are and simply waits to die, and their screams accelerate this effect. When enough of it happens to Blake, she simply lies in front of the oncoming Grimm with wide, unblinking eyes, as if she's already dead. And if they aren't physically close to their victims, the victim will die a slow death from starvation, as even the will to eat is destroyed. When the heroes do finally try to fight back, there's nothing they can do to actually stop the Apathy from following them. Even Ruby's silver eyes can't take them all out, with the remaining Apathy continuing to come after them while burning alive from the fire that Weiss started. Watching the heroes slowly being driven towards suicide, as they fight to find just enough strength to run away, makes this one of the most unsettling episodes of the show.
The Grimm Reaper
- Maria losing her eyes via a sword to the face is gruesome, and leaves nothing to the imagination. Her prolonged screams as Tock stands over her and gloats make it so much worse.
The Lady In The Shoe
- It emerges that Adam's suffered one serious case of Facial Horror; his left eye's been permanently damaged (the sclera red, the iris grey), because an SDC logo was branded on it. In one instant, Adam's hatred towards humans, especially the SDC employees from his and Blake's character shorts, suddenly becomes more well-founded.
A Night Off
- Tyrian's gleeful massacre of the citizens at Robyn's political rally. After Watts cuts off the lights, Tyrian begins the slaughter and the audience is treated to a frightening view of Tyrian making his way through a helpless crowd that is too slow, weak or blind in the darkness to react in time to save themselves. When the lights turn back on, the audience is immediately confronted by the sight of a room that is littered with blood-splattered corpses. It's the first time a massacre has been shown on-screen in the entire show, which increases the dramatic impact of the scene.
- When Watts traps Ironwood's arm in a Hard Light shield, it's because he assumes that no-one would ever destroy their arm to pull it out. When Ironwood first tries, the audience is treated to a close-up of his upper arm, stripped of flesh and smoking while accompanied by a sizzling sound. The moment he pulls his arm out of the shield occurs off-screen, but the audience can hear him grunting in pain and the sizzling of his skin continuing in a truly cringe-inducing way. His arm is revealed to be dangling uselessly at his side, smoking after having suffered third-degree burns that cover his entire arm from the bicep right to the tips of the fingers.
- Mimicking Emerald's illusion from the end of Volume 5, Salem swirls into existence from a black miasma that pours from a broken Seer, swelling into a much larger size than humanly possible to dominate Ironwood's office. After cementing Ironwood's paranoia, she calmly counters Ruby's defiance with a gentle taunt about her mother's death. Ruby's emotional collapse occurs to eerie, discordant sounds and twisted visions of a melancholic mother, while the power of her silver eyes crackles and spurts like a fried electrical circuit. The whole thing plays out like a scene from a horror show, with an extra layer of creepy dissonance caused by just how impassive Salem seems in the face of the emotional chaos she's just triggered.
With Friends Like These
- Cinder's arrival at the Winter Maiden's room is announced by the entire room shaking. When Winter looks into the corridor, the audience see the corridor from her perspective. The emergency lighting is broken and on the fritz, creating only flashes that reveal multiple dead bodies and the sight of Cinder standing peacefully among the wreckage. The audience is effectively plunged into the role of the victim in a slasher film that watches, helpless to act, as the murderous psychopath casually strolls through their own carnage towards them.
The Enemy of Trust
- The new look of Cinder's Grimm arm. Back in volume 5, it ended at the middle of her left bicep. Now the arm has advanced all the way up her shoulder, exposing all muscles that would normally be covered by skin. The arm can regenerate when cut, but the audience has to witness Cinder writhing and screaming in agony while it grows. The replacement arm has therefore evolved into Body Horror at its finest.
- When Camilla and Sleet confront Ironwood about declaring martial law, Ironwood responds by murdering Sleet. He doesn't speak, he doesn't engage, he simply walks out to meet the pair, pulls his gun and shoots Sleet, and then walks off. It's an eerie and nightmarish portrayal of a man the witnesses and audience previously thought they knew.
- The Hound is fully introduced as something thoroughly alien to other Grimm. New Grimm are mindless monsters, which makes them reckless and gives Huntsmen a weakness to exploit. This Hound uses human tactics against them, stalking its prey until the opportune moment to ambush, and then using its victim as a human shield. It then begins shapeshifting new forms as the situation needs through its body twisting, bones crunching and screaming as if the transformations cause it pain. The combination of human intelligence and Body Horror transformation make its introduction hideously memorable.
- Tyrian once again proves to be the most disturbed character in the show. When Emerald and Mercury are arguing, he comes out of nowhere and reveals that, unlike every other follower of Salem, he is entirely aware that she plans to destroy the world. When there's a character that's more thrilled about destroying the world than the person who was corrupted by the Pools of Annihilation, it's easy to see why Emerald and Mercury are so freaked out by his attitude. The scene is made even more unsettling by Tyrian wrapping his tail around Mercury, which makes him visibly uncomfortable.Mercury: [To Emerald] Salem isn't ending the world.
Tyrian: Of course she is! You're surprised? Salem is destruction incarnate! Our mistress wishes to see the end of it all! There is no ideal more beautiful! If you couldn't see that from the start, you must be out of your mind.
- The Hound returns and is just as terrifying as before. It attacks the Schnee manor, and curb-stomps everything in its path. However, the worst comes at the end of the episode; Ruby uses her Silver Eye powers on it, blowing its head blown off and revealing that it's actually a Faunus that Salem experimented on. After this happens, the Hound starts slowly walking towards them while saying the words "take the girl" on repeat.
- After an entire volume of the audience watching Mantle suffer, Ironwood's Sanity Slippage accelerates when he decides that the only way to make Ruby's group cooperate is to nuke Mantle. In "Risk", he reveals that he is not bluffing; he fully intends to bomb the city if they do not give him what he wants.
The Final Word
- Penny's death is a sudden and visceral assisted suicide that the audience sees from her own eyes. Jaune's arrival is a Hope Spot, reinforced by a dramatically-scored line-up shot of the three facing Cinder, before the scene takes a violent swerve. The battle music is replaced by Penny's agonized screams as Cinder's Grimm arm punctures several holes in her chest. The audience receives a POV shot as she collapses from her wounds, turns down healing, and pleads for death. Her request is indirect and forces the audience to follow her reasoning, framing the choice to die as autonomy. Cue Jaune's cries of anguish, a Gory Discretion Shot and Fade to White. Penny dies despite the volume's struggle to keep her alive, and the elaborate plot to save her from Watts' virus becomes All for Nothing.
- After Cinder's victory over Team RWBY, she reveals that she locked Watts in the military's control room and used the Staff of Creation to set it on fire. The last the audience sees of Watts, he is desperately trying to break the windows with a chair while screaming in terror. To be fair, the audience doesn't actually see him burn to death, but still.
World of Remnant: Grimm
- The short itself is easily the most graphic in all of RWBY despite the stylized nature of it. It shows a Nevermore tearing bits of flesh from a killed human to eat, along with showing one human bash another one's head in with a rock.
World of Remnant: Faunus
- The video doesn't do much to hide the nature of the racism between humanity and the faunus, including one bit showing a faunus being driven out of a human town, cornered against a cliff wall, and then the screen is covered in splatters of blood.