They're as cold as ice, they're willing to sacrifice. Today, two queens of ice, born into powerful, if troubled, families, go head to head.
A plethora of connections tie the combatants in season six's seventh episode to one another: each belongs to the lineage behind a wealthy foundation, and each is adept at combating the dark monsters that plague her world, be it through the rapier, a talent for ice magic, or the summoning of creatures attuned to her very soul. In this fight, a plethora of summons will wage war against one blessed with exceedingly great power and two heiresses match their wits and blades; for Weiss Schnee and Mitsuru Kirijo, the time has come to gauge their worth in a death battle.
The first combatant studied in the episode would be Weiss Schnee, one of the many key players in the world of Remnant. Beings of darkness known as Grimm run rampant across the land, and fortunately, there are many brave warriors committed to fending off their reign of destruction. These Huntsmen and Huntresses would not succeed in this endeavor without the aid of the mystical substance known as dust; of which there is no greater supplier than the Schnee Dust Company. Due to her older sister Winter abdicating her position as heir, the role of madam chairman was fated to fall on Weiss' shoulders one day, thus leading to a troubled and miserable childhood. The crushing expectations thrust upon her by her parents to prepare her for her eventual title as head of the company led Weiss to abandon her family and venture to the kingdom of Vale. There, she enrolled in Beacon Academy, the kingdom's center for molding young souls into warriors dedicated to halting the advances of the Grimm across Remnant. Despite initial tensions with other tutees, Weiss developed something of a respect for her dormmates and formed the Huntress team RWBY alongside them. Her journeys since studying at Beacon have taken her across Remnant, to other kingdoms and back home, on her lonesome or with her teammates, but it is always out of a drive for a better world that she soldiers onward.
The time she spent studying at Beacon and even her merely existing in a world of fantastical powers and beasts has served Weiss well many times over. At the center of her myriad abilities is the embodiment of the soul known as Aura. The very presence of an Aura gives one increased defensive capabilities, such as improved durability and automatically recovering from basic injuries; it also can be used to improve fighting prowess. A second point that is often affiliated with Weiss is the mystical substance known as Dust. Used as an energy source across Remnant, Dust comes in a variety of elemental powers and is compatible with several other features of the RWBY universe; Dust, in fact, can only be activated in the presence of an Aura. Notably, Weiss combines the powers of water and wind Dust to form her signature ice. These prior two components are combined often in Remnant, but none moreso than through a standard armament, usually a combination of firearm and melee weapon; in Weiss' case, her signature weapon is the rapier-revolver hybrid Myrtenaster. Such a descriptor should make the usage of Myrtenaster clear: it can be used by Weiss as a tool for precision in close-quarters combat, or by using charges of dust stored inside the chamber at the sword's hilt, amplify the proficiency of her fencing talent with elemental augmentation. Auras can also be used as a fuel of sorts to charge one's Semblance, a special ability unique to an individual. The Schnee family is an exception, as they have a hereditary Semblance, that of forming mystical glyphs. The traditional form that a Schnee glyph takes is a solid runic circle that acts as a platform or wall; though Weiss can also imbue Dust into her glyphs to strengthen or alter their effects, she most commonly uses them as a vessel to summon beings she has defeated in the past.
In the face of the monsters that ravage the land and even more human foes, Weiss is strong in fortitude. Her Aura is enough of a barrier that she can withstand being slammed into pillars and train wrecks with seven tons of force, and amplifies her ice Dust to the point where it can create sheets of ice through hundreds of tons worth of energy. With her glyphs and other sorts of Dust, Weiss is fast enough to knock bullets out of the air mid-flight and even dilate time to the point of being imperceptible to the human eye. As impressive as this makes Weiss, she is still far from perfect, even with the complex menagerie of materials and powers at her disposal. Her Aura, while incredibly durable, can be overtaxed, and it takes time to recover should it be fully drained; until then, she not only loses the physical enhancements it provides, but her Semblance as well. Speaking of her Semblance, she is inexperienced with summoning creatures compared to her sister, only able to conjure one being at a time. Still, the fact that Weiss constantly works to improve herself and the world she lives in, despite the constant mortal peril she and her comrades are thrust into, is a testament to her moral fiber. Truly, wherever she may go, Weiss has proven that her past does not define her and she lets her own earned prowess speak for her.
- Weiss Schnee: (overlaid to shots of Weiss and her teammates fighting various Grimm) I'm more than a name!
From Schnee the episode moves on, and on it does move to Mitsuru Kirijo, the sole heir to the prestigious Kirijo Group. By the dawn of the 21st century, the Kirijo Group became so prominent in every facet of life in contemporary Japan that their name was known the whole country over. Behind this seeming front of progress lied a dark secret, however. The Kirijo patriach, Koutetsu, had a vested interest in Shadows, monsters born from the darkness of the human psyche. His experiments with these Shadows and the mental realm they hail from gradually drove Koutetsu to madness as he buried himself further in his research. When Koutetsu and his scientists discovered their work was part of a prophecy heralding the end times, they chose to expedite the process, but they were interrupted, releasing the gathered Shadows and various phenomena of darkness into the world. It is in this modern day that Mitsuru grew up in, spending her time at the Gekkoukan High School as an esteemed valedictorian and member of its fencing club. She also founded the school's Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad, her personal task force designed to investigate the Shadows and their role in modern society under the guise of an after-school club, this being to atone for her grandfather's actions. Come 2009, Mitsuru invested herself fully into comprehending the nature of Shadows alongside the members of SEES.
Fortunately for Japan and the world at large, Mitsuru is capable of fighting these beings of darkness due to being one of a select few even aware of their existence. After encountering Shadows as a child, Mitsuru met her Shadow self, a Shadow manifested from a specific person's insecurities; in Mitsuru's case, her Shadow self stems from her grief over losing her father. By making peace with this fact, Mitsuru's Shadow self transformed into a Persona. By developing her Persona, Mitsuru was granted an assortment of powers of her own; with basic clairvoyance skills, she can sense the whereabouts of others and even the layout of her general surroundings. This spiritual awakening also gave her an immunity to ice-based magic and amplified her physical strength, helped by her own natural affinity for swordplay; thus meaning Mitsuru is never unarmed in a given situation. While she herself is formidable as a result, the true brunt of Mitsuru's strength lies with her Persona, Penthesilea. As her Persona, it proved to be a valuable ally and the best weapon Mitsuru had when fighting Shadows, but became increasingly useful as Mitsuru grew as a person, transforming into Artemisia. In this form, Artemisia has an ever wider plethora of techniques available to her; like her prior state, she can heal Mitsuru of her wounds and utilize ice magic that freezes her foes in place, but in her ascended form, Artemisia can even drain energy from others and use it to replenish Mitsuru's own supply. Also exclusive to Artemisia is Megidolaon, a burst of energy that bypasses enemy defenses. Mitsuru and her teammates then acquired gun-like devices called Evokers. By pointing the Evoker at themselves and firing, it simulates a traumatic experience and allows them to summon their Persona easier.
Throughout all the ordeals that Mitsuru and the SEES have faced, the heir of the Kirijo Group has overcome them none the worse for wear. Alongside SEES operative Yukari Takeba, Mitsuru and Artemisia were able to freeze more imposing Shadows with the equivalent of 60 kilotons of energy; assuming both Persona users were contributing an equal amount, this still means Artemisia has 30 kilotons of force behind her cryokinetic attacks. The Persona of Mitsuru can also compare to other Personas, such as that of Naoto Shirogane, who can catch arrows in mid-flight. Meanwhile, Mitsuru herself and the rest of SEES withstood the destruction of the Moonlight Bridge exploding while they were standing atop it. This duo is truly a worthy adversary for any foe they encounter, be they Shadows or other Persona users; however, just as her Persona is the source of Mitsuru's phenomenal might, it can just as easily be deprived of her. With enough force, Artemisia can undergo what is known as a Persona break, temporarily rendering her services unavailable to Mitsuru. In addition, when a Persona is injured, the user is affected as well; albeit through extreme mental anguish than through any physical damage; Mitsuru and Artemisia are no exceptions to this rule. It turns out for the good of the world, that these weakness are ones that Mitsuru has proven she and her fellow Persona users can work around. Indeed, she was at the forefront of halting her grandfather's apocalyptic scheme, ensuring the peace of the world and the dissolution of Shadows for the time being. Even when they returned to unleash chaos in the world, Mitsuru was still present to fend the Shadows off wherever they may appear, proving her spirit has emerged from the darkest recesses of the mind to become one of the greatest defenders against the unknown.
- Mitsuru Kirijo: (standing alongside Artemisia in front of a defeated Rise Kujikawa) This appears to be just the beginning.
The two combatants have been studied, examined, and looked at from all angles. One advertisement for the Blue Apron cooking service later, and now, it's time for a death battle!
Yes, the fight is on before the iron doors even open, as the clanging of blades rings clear through the vast halls of the Schnee family estate. Vaulting backwards through the air, Weiss Schnee, would-be heiress of the Dust company bearing her family name, touches down upon the polished tile with a seemingly effortless grace. A labored grunt punctuates the vigor at which she plunges Myrtenaster at her fellow fencer, Mitsuru Kirijo, the founder of SEES. The two swordswomen engage in a ballet of steel as Weiss paces herself away from a series of thrusts. After a glyph is used as a springboard by the Huntress to leap away from a wide slash, the two women use the distance between them as an excuse to indulge each other in idle banter. Weiss soon gets back into a fighting mindset by brushing off Mitsuru's flattery before conjuring a series of glyphs at her feet.
Barrelling through the series of sigils laid out on the floor in front of her, Weiss knocks Mitsuru off balance with a rapid thrust. Streaks of white and crimson are left shining in the air from the speed at which each heiress twirls her rapier. Through the twirling and parrying, Mitsuru eyes an opening that she takes as she primes her sword for another jab. Weiss, however, takes this opportunity to prime her rapier with wind Dust, countering the Persona user's advance with a slash that knocks Mitsuru away. Harshly tumbling upon the floor for a moment, Mitsuru regains a steady footing in time to see shards of ice heading in her direction. This proves to be a less intimidating threat to the heiress of the Kirijo group, who merely holds her hand in front of the glacial wall to shatter it entirely. Mitsuru mocks her foe for resorting to ice Dust before calling upon her inner self; from nothingness does a third figure emerge, an enigmatic humanoid clad in a ball gown, the red mask of a plague doctor adorning her visage. This, then, is Artemisia, the awakened form of Mitsuru's Persona. Weiss chooses now to shift her attention from the Persona user to the Persona itself, as all the flailing of Artemisia's whip is batted aside by Myrtenaster. A glyph is formed behind Weiss and from it, giant icicles careen towards Artemisia, only for the Persona to smash them into diamond dust.
Though the Huntress struggles to fend off the whip of Artemisia afterwards, she manages to buy herself a smidgen of time blasting Mitsuru backwards with another round of Dust. Weiss takes Mitsuru's earlier provocation to heart and primes Myrtenaster with a chamber shaded bright red. The ensuing cyclone of fire Dust is enough for Mitsuru to feel the suffering of her Persona, which then regroups with the Kirijo Group heiress. Both Persona and summoner need but a second to recompose themselves before Weiss finds herself surrounded by a number of ice-based daggers. The daggers close in on her, but the Schnee heiress catapult herself into the skies with a iceberg; without missing a beat, another glyph forms in the air, where a Queen Lancer Grimm lets Weiss perch herself on one of its many legs. Artemisia tackles the wasp, and the momentum is enough for Weiss to launch straight into Mitsuru. The Persona user reacts almost as if expecting such an attack, catching Weiss by the shoulders and tosses her away. Weiss summons another collection of glyphs in a blinding display of speed, darting between them as Mitsuru is launched higher still from each of Weiss' bounding leaps. While Mitsuru struggles to face Weiss courtesy of the RWBY Huntress diving straight into the ground, her Persona fares better against the summoned Grimm. Artemisia catches the stinger of the Queen Lancer and hurls it to the floor before, with the Persona's whip slamming into its abdomen, the Huntress' summon dissipates in a cloud of mist.
This setback takes Weiss' attention away from Mitsuru and it then costs her; the price, a leaping kick to the face that almost knocks her off balance. Mitsuru leaps high into the air, but what seems poised to be a killing blow is interrupted by her landing upon yet another glyph, this one colored rich shades of ebon black. The mystic circle flings Mitsuru aside, giving Weiss enough time to prime another summon; an imposing suit of armor arises from the runes decorating the floorpath in front of her. Sauntering to her creation's side, Weiss and the reconstructed Arma Gigas draw their swords before Mitsuru. The SEES founder is unintimidated by this display, and with Artemisia at her side once more, closes the distance in a pair of duels; heiress against heiress, summon against summon. Weiss jumps well beyond the spires of ice erupting out of the floor while the living armor's slash forces the Persona to back away. As the Arma Gigas lumbers towards Artemisia, Weiss rapidly parries the resulting flurry of sword swipes from Mitsuru. An unexpected upwards slash, however, proves to be unexpected and disorients the Huntress long enough for Mitsuru to plunge her heeled boot into the Schnee heiress' midsection. While the armored summon is ensnared and subsequently felled by Artemisia's whip, the Persona unleashes a volley of icicles with which to impale Weiss. The Huntress shields herself from her perceived fate, only for the shards of ice to be halted in their flight mere inches from her; the Arma Gigas has recovered in time to shield Weiss at its own expense.
As the summon fades into mist like the Queen Lancer before it, Weiss comes to realize her ace has been triumphed over, but still she soldiers on. As the embodiment of Mitsuru's psyche radiates a luminous lavender flare, Mitsuru herself charges towards her foe. Weiss, meanwhile, taps a foot against the floor, the only invocation to summon a time dilation glyph. The world around her slows to a crawl as Weiss darts towards Mitsuru and plunges Myrtenaster into Mitsuru's chest. The blow barely begins to penetrate Mitsuru's skin before the flow of time resumes, Artemisia unleashing Megidolaon in a burst of energy that smothers the hall with light. Both Weiss and Mitsuru seem felled by the attack, but whereas the Huntress is so wracked with pain that she struggles to upright herself, Mitsuru proves able to push onward, shooting herself with her Evoker and summoning Artemisia one last time. Artemisia quickly heals Mitsuru's injuries. Weiss is understandably daunted by the continued presence of the Persona, but refuses to surrender. In a last desperate charge, the Beacon pupil runs towards her foe, but the Persona knocks her skyward, where sheets of ice envelop her entire frame. The chunk of ice plummets to the floor, where Mitsuru stands in wait. With a final plunge, the maroon rapier is thrust with enough force to not only impale Weiss, but free her from the frozen barrier she was enveloped in. A dull thump echoes through the manor, followed by Myrtenaster snapping in half. With Artemisia taking a few moments for a final respectful bow in the wake of the Schnee heiress' demise, the Persona vanishes into the ether as Mitsuru strolls out the hallway.
With Weiss' defeat, the match moves on to its final phase, that of the analysis and retrospection. Weiss had a plethora of abilities and the usage of time dilation glyphs would theoretically give her the advantage in speed, but because of Mitsuru's clairvoyance, she would have some degree of awareness as to her foe's position. Given Artemisia can compare to Naoto's Persona, which can move at speeds of at least Mach 7, it is reasonable to assume she could match Weiss in speed. The hosts do admit that while Weiss' time dilation could give her the win in certain situations, overall, the winner is determined by who would be the most likely victor overall, and that ultimately proved to be Mitsuru. For one point, her own defensive capabilities vastly outclassed the assortment of powers Weiss could use. Given her proficiency is with ice, an element Mitsuru is immune to, Weiss would be forced to rely on other Dust elements, none of which she has been shown as using with the same destructive forces that Mitsuru is exposed to. In particular, the explosion with destroyed the Moonlight Bridge is calculated at over 21 tons of force, triple the greatest feat Weiss has performed. Even comparing the output of their offensive ice techniques, Mitsuru has proven that her energy output is at least 130 times greater than that of Weiss, and this factors in the additional help Mitsuru received at the time. The stats are only one factor that would lead to Mitsuru's victory, however. Aura is the focal point for all of Weiss' abilities, and Mitsuru could drain it from her while renewing her own supply of energy; Mitsuru herself, however, lacked such weaknesses. While it takes a long time for Aura to recover, a Persona break only lasts a few seconds, after which the user is free to summon them again. As a result, Artemisia could consistently keep Mitsuru in high health, negating whatever damage Weiss could inflict on her. Ultimately, Mitsuru was outclassed in a handful of fields, but where she wasn't, she could more than make up for the difference.
- Boomstick: [Weiss] had snow chance.
Wiz: The winner is Mitsuru Kirijo!
Weiss Schnee vs. Mitsuru Kirijo contains examples of:
- Alternate Character Interpretation: Akin to his "Aquaman is SpongeBob" theory, Boomstick employs a healthy amount of Insane Troll Logic to come to the conclusion that Weiss' father doesn't just look like Colonel Sanders, he is Colonel Sanders.
- Call-Back: This is not the first time a RWBY character being slammed into a pillar is noted as a prominent feat.
- Change the Uncomfortable Subject: Boomstick manages to weasel his way out of the below-mentioned Delayed Reaction by getting him a copy of Mitsuru's coat.
- Combat Compliment: Mitsuru's first line in the battle is praising Weiss for her good form and saying she fights with a sense of ease.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Neither of Weiss' summons fared well against Artemisia, both being easily dispatched without being able to land a proper hit.
- Dead Hat Shot: Myrtenaster falls to the ground and breaks after Weiss is killed.
- Delayed Reaction:
- It takes Wiz a moment to realize that Boomstick's "real experiments with real people" to gauge Mitsuru's defensive capabilities involved real people.
- An even longer one comes earlier when Boomstick ponders selling the dust on his bookshelf and starting his own dust company. It takes Wiz a solid seven seconds explaining RWBY dust before he realizes Boomstick even has a bookshelf.
- An Ice Person: Both Weiss and Mitsuru specialize in ice-based abilities, and is a linking theme between both combatants. Unfortunately for the former, Mitsuru was immune to ice attacks while Weiss wasn't.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
- The Arma Gigas goes out after Artemisia impales it four times with icicles when it moves forward to guard Weiss.
- Weiss uses a time-dilation rapier stab on Mitsuru, greatly wounding her.
- Mitsuru's Finishing Move against Weiss ends with a stab against the now-frozen Huntress.
- Mythology Gag: Mitsuru's Finishing Move was her Instant Kill from Persona 4: Arena.
- Ojou: One of the linking themes between both combatants is that they are wealthy noble females.
- No Plot? No Problem!: No justification is given for why Weiss would want to fight Mitsuru, or vice versa. By the time Boomstick announces the start of the battle, the two are already in the middle of a swordfight.
- Running Gag: The hosts fawning over Mitsuru's coat.
- Weak to Fire: Mitsuru's weakness to fire is only mentioned in a brief blurb at the end, noting that it's not much of an issue due to Weiss' lower power and items that can let Mitsuru negate it altogether. The fight incorporates this by showing Mitsuru to be stunned by Weiss hitting her Persona with a fire blast, and later trying to exploit it further by summoning the Arma Gigas with fire dust.
- Worthy Opponent: Mitsuru takes the time out of fighting to compliment Weiss on her fighting skill. More poignantly, Weiss (with her Aura depleted) is cut down by Artemisia attempting a last Death-or-Glory Attack and the Persona gives the fallen Huntress a final bow before it dematerialises.