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Recap / RWBY V1 E1 "Ruby Rose"

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Volume 1, Episode 01:

Ruby Rose
"Ruby Rose... You... have silver eyes."
Written by Miles Luna & Kerry Shawcross
Directed by Monty Oum & Kerry Shawcross

"You're a Huntress? Can I have your autograph?!"
Ruby Rose

A fifteen-year-old girl with exceptional combat skills is hand-picked by a famous headmaster to join his elite school for training Huntsmen and Huntresses.

And so the adventure begins.

Tropes in this episode include:

  • Action Prologue: Within the first three minutes of the series, Ruby is caught up in an armed robbery and thrust into a physical confrontation with the local mob boss and his thugs.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Dust is a substance that can be used in crystal format or in powdered (dust) format. It empowers technology, it can be used in ammunition, it can be used in raw (crystal) form, it can be sewn into clothing and even merged with the human body. There are four known types of Dust that have elemental effects, such as helping to produce fire and wind. The four forms can be combined in different ways to produce many effects. It's responsible for magical effects although is not regarded as magic in-universe. It is mined in a similar manner to coal.
  • Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving: Glynda Goodwitch criticizes Ruby for her reckless endangerment of the city when pursuing Roman, concluding that Ruby should be sent home with a pat on the back and a slap on the wrist. She smacks the table with her riding crop right by Ruby's hand for emphasis, then turns the conversation over to Ozpin, who focuses on all the good Ruby did, and can continue to do, as a huntress.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Glynda Goodwitch shows up just in time to save Ruby from an explosion.
  • Brutal Honesty: Glynda Goodwitch's first two acts were to save Ruby when she picked a fight with Torchwick, and then call her out for being so reckless.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: When Roman robs the store, one of his subordinates spots a young girl listening to music in the back of the shop. When he points his sword at her, Ruby asks him if he's robbing her. When he responds with an incredulous "yes", she smiles in understanding and then proceeds to kick the crap out of all the thieves.
    Ruby: Are you... robbing me?
    Mook: Yes!
    Ruby: Oooh. [smiles]
  • Caught Up in a Robbery: The episode opens with a Dust shop being robbed. Ruby, who is a customer there at the time, is oblivious until one of the Mooks confronts her and makes her take off her headphones. She proceeds to defeat them (except the leader, who escapes), and it is this action that leads to her being accepted into Beacon Academy two years early.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Roman and his men vastly out-number Ruby. She defeats all the subordinates almost instantaneously without them being able to land a proper hit on her. Roman immediately goes on the run rather than fight her.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Ruby is listening to "This Will Be The Day", the show's theme, on her headphones when Roman attacks the Dust shop she's in. The music switches from her headphones to the episode soundtrack as she kicks the mooks out of the shop. Just as she's about to start fighting, she clicks off her headphones and the episode's score changes from the song to battle music.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: The face of Roman's getaway pilot is obscured by the lack of light. The pilot is obviously female but, for the entire fight with Glynda, only her legs are visible, along with glowing patterns on her shadowed clothing and a pair of glowing yellow eyes.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Downplayed. During Ruby's interrogation, Glynda plays the Bad Cop by berating Ruby for being so reckless before turning her over to Ozpin, who plays the Good Cop by buttering her up with cookies and a friendly chat to pull the information out of her that he's after.
  • Good Witch Versus Bad Witch: There is a Wizard Duel between the heroically-aligned Glynda Goodwitch and the villainous Cinder Fall.
  • Gunship Rescue: When Ruby prevents Roman from robbing a Dust store by thrashing all of Roman's men, Roman goes on the run with Ruby in hot pursuit. He stops at the edge of a roof with Ruby behind him, blocking his escape, when an airship rises from behind a building to whisk him away from the area.
  • Left the Background Music On: Ruby is listening to the show's opening theme during the robbery. There's even some distortion as she lowers her headphones to respond to the mook, and the music ends with an audible click when she switches them off just before she engages in battle.
  • Leitmotif: A melody from "Red Like Roses" plays when Ruby shoots herself up the building that Roman Torchwick is escaping up. A little xylophone-like tune also plays during two of Glynda's appearances, first during her Big Damn Heroes moment, and then when a hologram of her appears in the airship.
  • Mugging the Monster: While holding up the shop, Torchwick's mooks see Ruby in the back and try to rob her. Ruby turns out to be a novice warrior who is also armed, so she delivers a Curb-Stomp Battle to the incompetent minions.
  • Punny Name:
    • From Dust Till Dawn, a Dust shop whose owner becomes a recurring character.
    • Roman Torchwick (as in Roman candle) has a weapon that's a firework launcher.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Played for laughs when the airship flying to Beacon with a suitably uplifting music, except our protagonists are freaking out over Jaune vomiting on Yang's shoes.
  • Stealth Pun: Dust shops are often frequented by Huntsmen and students training to be Huntsmen to pick up Dust to empower their weapons. When Ruby is first introduced to the show, she's at the back of a Dust store reading a magazine called "Weapons". In other words, she's holding a "weapons magazine".
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: When Ruby kicks the mook out the window, her detached headphones blare out the series' theme music "This Will Be the Day". The ensuing fight sequence is what propels her goal to enroll in Beacon later that night.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: Ruby's weapon unfolds into a Sinister Scythe and can also fire rounds like a long gun or compress into a shotgun.
  • Theme Naming: Glynda and Ozpin are the first hints at what will eventually become rampant theme naming. In this case, names based off The Wizard of Oz.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: The episode ends with Jaune Arc getting airsick and vomiting. The view during the scene is of exterior the airship they are in.

"I wonder who we're gonna meet! I just hope they're better than Vomit Boy,"